Residents' Groups Hijack Naming Vote for Chiswick Skyscraper
Proposed thirty-two storey building to be dubbed 'Towery McTowerface'
Towery McTowerface from Strand on the Green
Local residents' groups are celebrating a small victory today after successfully hijacking the naming process for the skyscraper planned for Chiswick Roundabout.
It is understood Hounslow Council insisted on the local community have naming rights for the 32 storey building as a condition of granting planning permission. However, the voting process was not well publicised and only spotted when a member of a local residents' association went through the associated documentation with a fine tooth comb.
Realising what was happening a consortium of local residents' groups co-operated in a carefully timed voting operation which gave their opponents no time to respond. Taking their inspiration from the online campaign to name a £200 million polar research vessel Boaty McBoatface, they chose the name Towery McTowerface. As the naming process is part of the statutory consultation exercise the result is binding and the developer would have to resubmit the application if they are unwilling to accept the new designation.
Local activist Karen Liebreich MBE told us, "If a vote of local people was taken this tower would never be built so when an opportunity to presented itself to win a small victory for democracy we took it."
Andy Murray from the Grove Park Group, who also helped win the vote said, “Given the sheer idiocy of placing the tallest building in West London in a space boasting the most traffic congestion, the highest levels of pollution and the least safe noise levels in the borough, calling the building a silly name seemed appropriate.”
According to sources, the developer was originally happy to change the name of the building as it was becoming known as 'The Chiswick Curse' in the local community and there was a fear that this name would stick. The public relations company that was handling the vote had fulfilled the statutory requirement for publicity by putting a notice in a recent edition of the Bedfont Chronicle and it is believed the developers were assured that the favoured name of the Lampton 360 Beacon would win. In the end 147 votes were cast with 82 being for 'Towery McTowerface'. The Chiswick groups involved did not publicise their plans because they feared that the PR firm may have had the ability to mobilise social media to win back the vote.
An image of the voting results which have since been taken offline
Consultant imagineer, Avril Amadan, who advises developers on the naming of buildings was unwilling to underestimate the importance of the impact of the Towery McTowerface branding. She said, "This would have been one of the prime addresses in London. It has unparalleled access to the UK's motorway network, there are amazing amenities in the area including showrooms for two types of French manufactured cars and it is close to a cemetery which is something to bear in mind given the level of pollution. Now people living there would face ridicule every time they have to say where they live."
According to Avril the new name may discourage high profile celebrity buyers of units in the building. She says, "The official story was that Brad was in B&Q to buy some shelves and wall brackets but everyone in the industry knows this was a cover. He was there to discreetly scope out the location as Angelina had told him that one of the three bedroom units in the development would be perfect for them and their six children. But now this silly name makes it unlikely they will buy as they would never want to look preposterous."
An on-line petition is still in operation against Tower McTowerface although it has yet to be updated with the new name.
Towery McTowerface viewed from the south of Chiswick Roundabout
April 1, 2016