Wednesday, 2 October 2019

What Happened to Our New Park?

Proposed public park. 
Back in 2016 we reported on a new park which was promised for Shepherd's Bush.

It was all part of the new Westfield development, and that of St James to the north - on the old M&S warehouse site east of Wood Lane.

The park was the price which was exacted by our former Conservative Council from the developers, in return for planning permission to redevelop the area.

It was never intended to be a big park; rather it would be a small green space tucked under the redeveloped Hammersmith and City tube line, running through the Westfield redevelopment.

The photo above shows what it was supposed to look like.  So, where is it? And what happened to it?

Westfield publicity photo, 2015

Fountains at Westfield
The Westfield extension has now been completed, and has doubled the size of our already immense shopping centre, so that it now has the distinction of being the largest in Europe.

The photo above is a publicity photo from 2015, when we first reported about the Westfield expansion.

In the photo, the new park looks quite substantial, a large green space with many trees and pathways to wander.

Disappearing park
Today, the park is now complete, but unfortunately it isn't really a park. What it is, is a bit of semi-green space between Westfield and the new St James' apartment buildings.

It has some nice fountains, which are fun for kids to play in, and a nice bench for parents to sit on. It also has some attractive landscaping. But is it a park? No, it isn't.

Landscaping at Westfield
I'm actually not really criticising what has been created. It is a genuinely attractive space and my kids played happily in the water in September when the weather was still warm.

But it is important to remember that what is promised by developers (in this case, a public park) is not always what we actually get.

Rather like the Elephant cafe on Wood Lane, the gap between what developers say they will build, and what actually gets built, can be substantial.

The Shepherd's Bush Blog offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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