Boris Gives Go Ahead for "Imperial Folly"

Campaigners plan High Court fight over 35 storey tower on Wood Lane

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has given the go ahead to the Imperial West scheme, clearing the way for Hammersmith and Fulham Council to issue planning permission for the development.

Local campaigners have been fighting plans by Imperial College to build a 35 storey tower at the Wood Lane development - a plan they have dubbed Imperial's Folly.

The council already granted approval to the masterplan proposals in July.

The campaigners note that in March, when the scheme first came before him, the Mayor said he wanted the height of the 35 storey tower looked at again.

And they add: " That was then, and this is now. Boris was in campaign mode back in March, for the London Mayoral elections, and taking some notice of public protests on the scheme. Now, safely back as Mayor, his concerns have clearly gone away. The tower has stayed at 35 storeys.

" We had written in early September to ask both the GLA and LBHF when the Mayoral decision at "stage 2" would be made, having previously been told it would be some time this month. We had no response, until hey presto, two days after the decision was taken we are told that all is done and dusted.

"The necessary documents reached the Mayor on 12th September and by the 20th the GLA officer recommendation was approved. We are still trying to find out how we could have known what was happening up at City Hall. The GLA website publishes a weekly list of planning applications referred to the Mayor, but it seems to have no entries after June 2102."

The GLA officer report, recommending "on balance" that the Imperial West development should be approved, can be read here

The campaigners say: " As with the report to the LBHF Planning Applications Committee, the GLA document goes to tortuous lengths to find sufficient justification to approve a development of this height and scale at this location. It also attempts to address the various grounds for legal challenge, to which our lawyers alerted the council back in July. We do not find these parts of the report very convincing, and we doubt if a High Court judge will either."

The campaigners, who include St Helens Residents Association in North Kensington add that fund raising to finance a legal challenge is going well, and ask anyone who is not already an member of the association and can offer advice or financial support to get in touch by emailing



October 9, 2012