Saturday 7 December 2013

Come On Riverside Studios - You're Better Than This!

This theatre frontage to be replaced by large garage depot-doors
It's now apparent that the application for the Riverside Studios/Queens Wharf scheme will be heard at a specially arranged meeting of the Planning Applications Committee on 19th December. At just six days before Christmas it appears this date has been chosen to curtail the numbers of local residents likely to attend. I encourage anyone who is interested to come along. It starts at 7.00pm and will most likely be held at Hammersmith Town Hall.

The shame of this project is that rather than go for a scheme that protects Riverside Studios as a community arts centre and protects all that's good about the immediate neighbourhood the developer has stubbornly opted to turn the site into an ├╝ber-commercial media centre and property speculators' dream - with high end flats targeted mostly at international investors.

By building too high and replacing the current theatre frontage with large garage depot-doors, the developer apparently finds it acceptable to downgrade this currently vibrant neighbourhood into a darker cut through for local traffic - damaging the trade of small independent retailers in the process.

The public consultations have been unnecessarily fearful of genuinely consulting the public. They flatly refused to attend this residents' public meeting. All indications being that this remarkably naff approach was simply because their communications advisor, the Remarkable Group, hadn't organised it. 

Meanwhile, H&F Council looks set to nod this through despite having the conflict of interests of being the planning authority, owning the freehold and having been in private negotiations with parties behind this scheme for many years before it ever announced to the public what was going on.

Come on Riverside Studios, you're better than this! Come back with some amended plans.

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