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West London development too destructive

The Victorian Society is backing Hammersmith residents in opposing the demolition of several historic buildings as part of the King Street regeneration proposals.

The Society is objecting to plans to knock down the locally listed Cromwell Mansions on King Street and a residential block on Cromwell Avenue. The developers have earmarked both buildings for demolition in order to build 320 new homes on the site, as well as offices, restaurants and a new public square. A 1930s cinema would also be lost.

'Historic buildings such as these are a limited resource which we cannot afford to waste', said Heloise Brown, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'Cromwell Mansions is more than 100 years old and is made of good quality red brick with attractive sash windows and fine details. It would be incredibly harmful to the character of this part of London to destroy such a piece of design and replace it with a bland modern block.'

The building is not listed nor in a Conservation Area, but the council includes Cromwell Mansions on its own list of Buildings of Merit. Such a list is meant to inform planners and developers which unlisted buildings are worth keeping in any plans for redevelopment.

The Victorian Society is urging Hammersmith and Fulham Council to reject the current scheme in favour of a more sustainable approach to the regeneration of King Street.

'Wholesale demolition is not the right approach when a site contains historic buildings', Miss Brown added. ‘There is an opportunity here for an exciting development which draws on the rich history of the area and mixes old with new. It must not be lost'.


Thursday 2 December, 2010

More recent item: Concern over the demolition of historic Rye building
Earlier item: Historic Suffolk workhouse at risk

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