Huge Fulham Riverside Development Increased in Size

Over 200 new flats on Currys PC World site in towers up to 12 storeys high

CGI of development from Wandsworth Bridge. Picture: Londonewcastle

A huge housing development looks set to be built beside Wandsworth Bridge despite concerns about a lack of affordable housing.

Blueprints show that 269 homes will be built on the Currys PC World superstore site in Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, which closed earlier this year.

Developer Londonewcastle last week won permission to make big changes to a planning approval it received in 2014 for the site, known as Hurlingham Retail Park.

Six years ago, the company was given the green light to build several blocks ranging between seven and 12 storeys tall. They were originally going to include 239 new riverside flats and more than 3,000 square metres of retail space.

On August 4, Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Planning Committee gave permission for another 30 flats to be added to the development, taking the total to 269.

Of the 30 new homes, 11 will be “affordable” housing, including five that will be let at “social”, heavily discounted rents. The 2014 planning application included 25 affordable homes, meaning the total number of affordable homes will be 36 – about 13 per cent of the whole development.

CGI of development. Picture: Londonewcastle

The new version of the plans include a much smaller underground car park. The overall number of parking spaces will be reduced from 213 to 116. There will also be 506 new cycle parking spaces.

At the August 4 Planning Committee, Tory councillor Alex Karmel said the developer should be required to provide a greater share of affordable housing. This was because Londonewcastle will make a “huge saving” on construction costs thanks to the underground car park now being much smaller.

“I don’t want to see the applicant making an excess profit to the detriment of the community,” Mr Karmel said to the committee.

Defending their negotiation with Londonewcastle, the council’s head of development management, Matt Butler, said: “I can quite clearly say the cost savings were taken into account by our own independent financial expert.”

In 2018, the council released a new version of its Local Plan, which said new housing developments should aim to have 50 per cent affordable housing.

The application was approved by the committee after four councillors voted in favour granting planning permission, whereas three councillors voted against.

Fourteen residents wrote objections to the new plans, with complaints that new buildings were “unimaginative” and would “change the character of the area”.

The scheme has been designed by Hopkins Architects, who designed the Velodrome at the Olympic Park.

It will also include a tree-lined private garden and “improved public realm”.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

August 12, 2020