Waitrose to Anchor King Street Regeneration

New piazza, pedestrian access to river, homes and restaurants all part of plans

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Waitrose have beaten Tescos in the battle to shape the future of King Street.

Their partner Grainger and Helical Bar have been chosen by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to be responsible for the redevelopment of the area around Hammersmith Town Hall.

In total the development will provide approximately 290 homes, both affordable and private with pedestrian access to the river via a new footbridge, an 11,000m2 civic office building, including a council one stop shop, and 5,202m2 of retail, cafés and restaurants.

The heart of the scheme is a series of new urban spaces that link together and provide a new pedestrian connection to the river; these include a public square, a pedestrian street, a footbridge, and a redesigned park.

The scheme will see the demolition of the Cineworld cinema. Previous plans for the area were rejected after a residents campaign led by Vanessa Redgrave objected to Tesco's plans for a large supermarket on the site.

The new square will be framed by the reinstated listed town hall to the south (currently obscured by a 1960s office development) and new buildings to the east and west comprising cafes, restaurants, offices and homes and the supermarket.

David Walters, Development Director at Grainger, speaking on behalf of the winning team, said, “We are delighted we have been chosen for this prestigious development. We worked extremely hard to produce a scheme that met the needs of the brief and provided Hammersmith with a new heart and this part of King Street with a new lease of life. We are now looking forward to engaging with the community as we prepare a planning application for later in 2008.”

Integral to the design is the new footbridge accessed via a ramped pedestrian walkway to the east of the town hall. The walkway passes the new council office complex – an energy efficient building arranged around an atrium linked to the town hall and residential blocks arranged around private courtyards set back to frame existing views of the town hall, before crossing the busy A4. This directly links Hammersmith town centre to the historic waterfront and to a re-landscaped park terracing down to the river.

The plans, which will now be debated in detail with residents, will also involve the creation of a public piazza on the site of the ugly town hall extension.

Cllr Mark Loveday, H&F Cabinet Member for Strategy, says, "Our experts, who have spent months analysing complex data, believe that the Grainger/Helical Bar scheme is the best economically and aesthetically."

He continued, "This is a vital project for Hammersmith and it must be of the highest quality. Too many of these schemes in the past looked tired almost before they were completed. I want future generations to be proud of the town hall and after months of detailed analysis the proposals from Grainger/Helical Bar were clearly the outstanding choice."

February 6, 2008