Thursday, 11 June 2015

Lonely Shed on Shepherd's Bush Green Faces Demolition

Disused Electrical Sub-station - to be demolished
The Bush Telegraph has been trying to find out what the Council plans to do with the derelict shed (apparently a former electrical sub-station) on Shepherd's Bush Green. Despite extensive landscaping of the Green in 2013, this dilapidated building has been left to decay and even has plants growing out the roof.  We recently wrote to Ian Ross, head of Parks at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and asked him if he knew what the Council's plans are for what could be - if renovated - an attractive and useful building.  Ice cream in summer, anyone?

Dodgy roof tiles
This was the reply from Ian Ross:

Thank you for your letter dated 19th May regarding the disused building in the north-west corner of Shepherd's Bush Green. 

The options for this building have been discussed a number of times over the last couple of years. Feedback, based on informal discussions with Planning colleagues, is that planning permission would not be forthcoming for a cafe or a commercial operation.  The Inspector at the Planning Inquiry that took place prior to the Green Refurbishment several years ago deemed that a replacement building including toilets (which was planned at the time) was not appropriate.  There was significant opposition from shopkeepers in properties facing the green,and this level of opposition could be anticipated for any change of use of the existing building, the area's common land status  is an extra complication. Additionally it would cost any new occupier a large sum to put the building in working order,and on this basis is probably not a viable option for anyone.

While it always disappointing to lose a building that has a potential use our options are very limited here and given this building is detracting from the overall appearance of Shepherds Bush Green the practical approach is to move forward with seeking permission to demolish, which has previously been granted but is now time expired.

It is worth pointing out that any decision to demolish will require Secretary of State approval due to the site's Conservation Area status, and public consultation will be undertaken as part of this process where local residents can make comments.

I trust this clarifies the Council's position? If you wish to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

lan Ross
Parks Manager

So, that's it then. Demolition is the next step.  But what I don't understand is why planning permission could not be granted to use the building as a cafe. After all, the new Dorsett Hotel was a listed building and a change of use was permitted, most likely because there weren't any practical alternatives.  And as for opposition from local businesses - since when has business had the right to prevent competition coming to our neighbourhood? Should Waitrose be entitled to block the opening of a Tesco? Or vice versa?

Sad shed with hoarding
Victorian and Edwardian London generally scrubs up pretty well if it is given a chance, and the sad shed on the Green might look nice if it was properly looked after.


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