Latest planning proposals in our area

We try to ensure that the Association works on other things than planning issues. But the pace of development in the area gives us little chance to do so.

The latest big threat is the application for a mixed used development at 3-5 Crowthorne Road.   This is the existing garage site, just behind Lichfield Studios in Oxford Gardens.  The planning application can be found here.  It claims to be for a set of buildings up to 5 storeys, but the plans show a building with a clunky barrel vault roof within which there are a further 2 storeys.  So it is not a low building.

The design and siting of the building will completely ruin the view to the south along Wallingford Avenue.  The plans and drawings do not show the extent of the damage, but this extract gives you a bit of an idea  Crowthorne Road development from Wallingford Avenue (note Lichfield Studios in the foreground).

The deadline for comments on the application is 12th October.  You can use the council’s online system to comment, write to the Town Hall, or send an email to

We will be sending in detailed comments including the following points:

  • the proposed height, bulk and design of the buildings would harm views and the setting of the St Quintin/Oxford Gardens Conservation Area, contrary to Core Strategy policy CO5
  • in particular, the important view to the south along the entire length of Wallingford Avenue, including the attractive low facade of Lichfield Studios, would be very seriously harmed.
  • the proposed buildings will increase the sense of enclosure for houses on the south side of Oxford Gardens, contrary to Core Strategy policy CL5

On the Helical Bar proposals for the former Dairy Crest site in Wood Lane, the deadline for comments has now passed but Hammersmith & Fulham Council will probably still accept responses, as this is a major development.  More information about the scheme is here.   We are still trying to get from Transport for London the details of their latest traffic modelling of the North Pole Road/Wood Lane junction.

The expensive consultants working for the developers on each of the big schemes along Wood Lane have been given access to this data.  But it still not yet in the public domain.  This seems hardly fair.  Each developer argues that the impact of their own scheme on traffic in Wood Lane will be ‘marginal’ and not an issue.  Does this feel like the reality we see each day, in terms of queues of traffic on North Pole Road and St Quintins Avenue?

On the plans by Tesco to take over the ground floor of the North Pole pub, there was a successful demonstration by many residents and people will have seen the banner and slogans that continue to decorate the building.  The Association has sent in objections to the three planning applications submitted by Tesco.  A copy is here SHRA objection to Tesco.

And last but not least, we are continuing to fight the proposals for the Imperial West development, with its 35 storey tower which will dominate ther area.  For more details see our campaign website at

One of the main reasons why we have made proposals for a Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Plan for this area is to try to give local people more influence over the future of the area.  The process of getting the area and Forum ‘designated’ by both Kensington & Chelsea council, and Hammersmith & Fulham council, is proving longer than we hoped.

Debate continues, with residents in the Eynham Road triangle in H&F, as to whether they wish these streets to be included.  We are hopeful that an outcome will be reached in the next few weeks, and that we can then make progress on drawing up a neighbourhood plan for the area.







North Pole pub to be a Tesco Express

After months of rumours that first Sainsburys and then Tesco would be taking over the North Pole pub, we now have a clear picture.

The freehold of the building has been bought by a property fund called Riding House Investments.  Tesco has taken a 20 year lease on the ground floor and basement, and propose to open a 3,300 sq.ft Tesco Express store.

Tesco has applied for planning permission for new fascia signs, a shopfront, and for some minor external works in Latimer Road.  The three applications are on the RBKC website, and the one with most useful information can be seen here

Tesco has provided us with a CGI image of what the new shopfront will look like:

Image of Tesco Express at North Pole Road

Councillor Matthew Palmer will be organising a meeting between Tesco and the shopkeepers in North Pole Road.  The Association’s main concern is now to protect the future viability of the existing shops and in particular the post office, chemists, and butcher – as longstanding and well used facilities for local people in this area.
We also support the new RBKC policies designed to stop the loss of pubs in the Borough.  The council has been consulting on its new policy, and has recently published its final proposals which you can find here.
From feedback from our membership, most feel that North Pole Road already has three convenience stores, and that the arrival of a Tesco Express risks putting existing shops out of business.  A small number of our members would be happy to see a Tesco Express in North Pole Road.  Tesco argue that such stores increase footfall and can help to revive a local shopping street. The existing shopkeepers are very unconvinced.
Subject to more views from members, the Association intends to oppose the planning applications submitted by Tesco.  We support the council’s new policy against loss of pubs.  No planning permission is currently required for change of use from a pub to retail, although there is growing national pressure to change the planning system in this respect.
A petition signed by over 2,000 people has already been submitted to RBKC, protesting against the North Pole becoming a mini-store of a national chain.  There is also an online petition here
Below is a bit of the pub’s history – a long one, which Tesco will now bring to an end.  Tesco argue that the pub had been in administration for 5 years, and is not viable as a business (although it seemed to do fine a few years back, when the food offer was right).