Saturday, 6 June 2015

Shepherd's Bush Palladium Saved from Demolition - For Now

Shepherd's Bush Palladium, originally the Cinematograph Theatre, in 1910
The Shepherd's Bush Palladium, more recently known as the Walkabout Pub, has been saved from demolition - for now.  In a decision on 28 May, our Council rejected Dorsett Regency's plan to demolish the historic cinema and turn it into a 16 storey block of flats. Built in 1910 as the Shepherd's Bush Cinematograph Theatre, The Palladium stopped showing films in 1981, and was eventually converted into a pub, owned and operated for many years by the Walkabout chain. Its future remains uncertain and the owners can appeal this decision and/or submit new plans.

The Palladium-turned-Walkabout in 2008. Australasian Heaven. Photo: Wikipedia
The original theatre was one of the oldest in the country. It was first built in 1910 by entrepreneur Montagu Pike, part of an empire of moving picture houses that swept across London.

Pop around the corner of the old theatre, which still wears its Australasian green yellow and gold plumage out front, and you can see the old painted ticket prices down the side of the building, advertising tickets from a shilling and sixpence (the posh seats) to thruppence (the cheap seats).

Shepherd's Bush Green Conservation Area. The Palladium is shown in yellow

The Palladium is in a Conservation Area - Shepherd's Bush Green, but the building is not on the listed buildings register - which makes its position precarious.

Leading the campaign to preserve was The Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group, who were amongst many who opposed the planning application.

The application was refused on five main grounds:

1) The proposed development is considered unacceptable in the interests of visual amenity and in terms of its impact on the historic environment. More particularly, the proposed building, rising to 16 storeys, would far exceed the prevailing height of the surrounding built environment, and would appear as an isolated, intrusive feature, failing to respect its townscape context in terms of scale, massing form and detailed design. It would dominate the skyline in views from Shepherd's Bush Green as well as in close and longer views including from within the Shepherd's Bush Conservation Area, and would fail to preserve or enhance the quality of the built environment and open spaces which contribute towards the character of the conservation area.

2) The proposal would lead to the loss of a locally listed Building of Merit which has historic, architectural and communal value, without satisfactory evidence to show that the building could not be viably retained, or practicably be adapted to retain any historic interest, or that the scheme would provide public benefits to outweigh the harm arising from its loss.

3) The proposal is considered to be unacceptable as it would result in the unjustified loss of an entertainment use in the town centre, contrary to the requirements of Policy DM D2 of the Development Management Local Plan 2013, which seeks to retain cultural and entertainment uses.

4) The proposed development, due to the scale, height, bulk and width of the rear part of the building in close proximity to neighbouring residential properties at the rear, would lead to unacceptable loss of outlook and increased sense of enclosure to these properties.

5) The daylight analysis submitted with the application shows that the development would lead to loss of light to neighbouring residential properties in excess of accepted standards.

To find out more, read the full details of the refusal here.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre,  find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market,  and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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