Thursday, 17 May 2018

Wood Lane Petrol Station Plans

Petrol Station on Wood Lane by Karl and Craig
According to a news item at WhiteNoise, the old Esso petrol station on Wood Lane is to be taken over by Elephant Magazine, who are to turn it into "a new space [to] act as a meeting place and hub for performance, discussion, film screenings, talks and workshops put together by our editors and curatorial team. A cafĂ© , shop and outdoor garden area complete this."

So, in plain English then, the old petrol station will become an arts cafe.

The petrol station closed in 2016 and soon began to attract graffiti and rubbish. TFL - who own the site - didn't seem to have a plan for it so local developers Stanhope took a lease on it (presumably to stop it ruining the neighbourhood) and turned it into an art installation, created by street artists Karl and Craig. Which, sadly, soon also began to attract graffiti and rubbish.

The new plan is to create an arts cafe. You can see what it will look like by reading this news item from Elephant.  It's an odd-looking design, a big metal wall that doesn't seem to have any windows, but says "Elephant" in really, really, big letters, and a really big picture of an orchid.

Will it improve Wood Lane? The picture shows lots of people walking past, but these are CG people, not real ones, because in reality no-one walks up Wood Lane, except to use the Tube station. Part of the trouble with all the new development in our neighbourhood is that it tends to create self-enclosed spaces, such as Westfield, which look inwards, rather than creating pedestrian-friendly streets that people actually want to walk down. Let's hope this new plan is different - but it doesn't look like it.

To see what Wood Lane used to look like, see this post. If only architects could build like that again.

The Shepherd's Bush Blog offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. If you would like to contribute a story, email us at shepherdsbushblog(at) And don't forget to add your opinion in the comments section below.

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