Residents Petition Council over Goldhawk Road Plans

Council's actions are "travesty of local democracy"

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Ashchurch Residents Association has delivered a petition to Hammersmith and Fulham Council containing signatures of nearly 400 residents opposing development plans at 282-288 Goldhawk Road.

The petition was given on December 9 to local ward councillor Eugenie White, who is pictured here with members of the Ashchurch Residents Association, or ARA.

The original, with 381 signatures was delivered to Council planning officers with copies to all councillors on the Planning Applications Committee.

Residents are furious that the development proposed by Places for People is being brought to the Planning Committee next Wednesday, December 16 with papers published recommending its approval even before the formal consultation period has closed.

As the consultation's agreed closing date is not until Thursday December 10, it means many residents' letters of objection will not be properly considered. This breaks the Borough's own published statement of community involvement.

ARA chairman Fiona Anderson says: "It is a travesty of local democracy that the Council has published papers recommending approval of the 282-288 Goldhawk Road project even before the formal consultation period has closed. This application is being pushed through the Planning Committee in the very busy period before Christmas.  

" Residents have responded angrily and in great numbers that they are not happy with this and unless it is put off until January we shall take the Council to the Local Government Ombudsman. It is proof that Hammersmith and Fulham Council put developers NOT residents first.

"The  developers' application is riddled with errors and breaches in planning  law, with many omissions. It should not go to Committee.

" We believe if agreed this development goes ahead will set a very dangerous precedent for all Conservation Areas in the borough."

At 282-288 Goldhawk Road, the site of a former old folks' home, property regeneration company Places for People has applied to build 66 housing units, including 17 supported mental health housing units between 3 ½ and 4 ½ storeys high. The development will have mews-style pedestrian streets between Ashchurch Park Villas and Ashchurch Grove, and the ARA says it will mean the loss of the hedge and many of the mature trees on the site.

Objections include the design of the development, which they claim does not respect the Ravenscourt Park and Starch Green Conservation Area; its height, strong signature style and density, as well the removal of trees and hedges, and the prospect of noise and extra traffic.

This is the second controversy over development in the Goldhawk Road area in recent months. In September, the council approved an application to demolish the Goldhawk Industrial Estate and replace it with 57 new homes, despite vociferous opposition.

Last month, the application was "called in" by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which means it will now be independently reviewed and could be overturned.

December 9, 2009