However, there now seems to be a rather concerning level of disparity about how much contact Hammersmith and Fulham Council have had with Development Securities (the property developer) about the scheme. Cllr. Mark Loveday (Con), H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategy, posted this item about the planning application on the Hammersmith Today Forum on 18th September 2007, "Like anyone else, they [Development Securities] don't have to consult with the Council or the public before submitting a planning application, and they didn't. The Council was presented with their proposals without any real advance notice. Perhaps had they spoken to us first, we would have told them what would and would not work.” You can read Cllr. Loveday's full comments here.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, I have now been sent a document listing the schedule of meetings between H&F Council officials, councillors and Development Securities. It contradicts Cllr. Loveday's comments as there have, in fact, been eleven meetings to date between our council and the property developer, with the first taking place on 15th November 2006.
Development Securities won the contract to build on the TfL site in the autumn of 2006. They submitted the application on the 25th May 2007 and it was validated on 10th August 2007. A Council official wrote to me to explain “There have been a number of meetings at which Development Securities' team have presented their scheme to officers for informal pre-application comment, prior to submitting a planning application. Various officers of the Environment department (Planning and Highways divisions) have been present.” Here’s the schedule:
Schedule of Meetings between Development Securities and H&F Council
- 15th November 2006 2.00pm. Three H&F Council officers present
- 11th December 2006 2.00pm. Four H&F Council officers present
- 26th January 2007 2.00pm. Six H&F Council officers present
- 20th March 2007 2.30pm. Six H&F Council officers present
- 12th June 2007 2.00pm. Three H&F Council officers present
- 15th June 2007 11.00am. Exhibition of scheme attended by Cllr. Stephen Greenhalgh (Con), Cllr. Nicholas Botterill (Con). One H&F Council officers present
- 27th June 2007 4.30, Cllr. Stephen Greenhalgh (Con), Cllr Nicholas Botterill (Con) and Cllr. Frances Stainton (Con) and four H&F Council officers present
- 6th July 2007 2.30pm. Five H&F Council officers present
I have also met with the developer to be briefed on their plan as previously reported. While it is understandable for Administration Councillors or officials to do likewise, I have written to the Director of the Environment to find out what was on the agenda for each and every meeting, what was discussed and what (if anything) was agreed.
Many residents have contacted me to express their concerns about the size of the building, the effect this development would have on the transition from town centre to the residential area, extra traffic, parking problems and extra noise. And, many have expressed fears that planning permission will be given for this scheme in much the same way as it was for the recent Larden and Percy Road luxury housing development.
I am in consultation with a numbers of residents’ groups about a public meeting and will let you know if we think it will be useful to hold one. Please email me here if you wish to attend any potential meetings about this. I'll keep you posted.