Celebrities Support Save Our Skyline Campaign

Deadline for protest letters and e-mails 4 Jan 2011

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Four of Britain’s leading actors have added their voice to those opposing the proposed redevelopment of Hammersmith Town Hall.

With only a few days remaining before the deadline for objections to be submitted to the Council’s planning department, it is critical that any who have not yet written do so now.

Ralph Fiennes said: “I am strongly opposed to the proposed development of luxury flats. Hammersmith neighbourhood is low-rise and historic, with a number of Grade II listed buildings, and therefore high rise tower blocks are completely out of character with the surrounding area and historic waterfront.

"The development also includes the demolition of the Art Deco cinema. As one of the last few remaining in London, this is a local building of merit, profitable, and very popular with not just the local community but people from surrounding areas as well. It should be preserved for future generations.

“Any development would not only lead to an irrevocable loss to the spirit of the area, but would also be a blemish on the landscape.”

Joely Richardson said: “Please do not get rid of the cinema, and ruin the skyline of the beautiful and historic riverside walk. I grew up around Hammersmith and Chiswick, and part of my lifeline was escaping to the local cinema, it played a big part in my decision to become an actress.

“I have always considered the river at Hammersmith to be one of the loveliest parts of London, it is one of London's hidden gems. It should not become yet another homogenized civic environment as it is an important part of our heritage.

“Lastly, in order to build and maintain a strong community, and indeed society, we need to take care of the vulnerable ones within it, none more so than the blind and partially sighted living in some of the affordable homes under threat - please listen to us.”

Dougray Scott said: “I am appalled and quite frankly furious about the development proposals by the current Council. The effect on the skyline will be drastic, the loss of low cost housing, the cinema and part of the beautiful Furnivall gardens, scandalous. I urge the Council to reconsider these plans and listen to what the local residents have to say.

David Threlfall said: "I am staggered by the proposed development - the skyline being further dominated by the greed of developers wanting to cash in without caring about the resulting havoc for the inhabitants of the Borough, which include my family and I.

"I am constantly amazed at the double standards of this council that can restrict unreservedly the building on residents' own property of, say, a loft conversion, and then allow another dreadful glass menagerie of a building to join the rash of towering glass structures that glower over us. Furthermore, to demolish a mainstay of the community such as the cinema, for the sake of yet another unnecessary supermarket, while offering no concessions to what residents want is insensitive and dictatorial."

Campaigners are urging  residents to make sure your voice is heard in the following ways
If you agree that the current scheme is disproportionate and inappropriate, you need to write now to the planning office, local Councillors and Hammersmith's MP saying so.

To see a list of points you may like to raise in your letter,and/or to open a blank email, pre-addressed to all the recipients detailed below and ready for you to write your message of objection, please see www.saveourskyline.co.uk.

Don't forget to state clearly that you oppose the plans, and be sure to give the planning application reference numbers in your letter:
• Main Planning Application Reference: 2010/03465/FUL
• Listed Building Consent Planning Application Reference: 2010/03466/LBC
• Conservation Area Consent Planning Application Reference: 2010/03467/CAC

Letters must reach LBHF planning department by 4th Jan 2011 – which means posting by 31 December 2010 at the very latest.

Send your letter of objection to:

Susie Saraiva, Case Officer, Planning Department

Nigel Pallace, Director of Environment

Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith

Please email a copy of your letter to isupport@saveourskyline.co.uk.

A quick reminder of what's planned:

Hammersmith and Fulham Council, in conjunction with its development partners, has now submitted a planning proposal which will:

• Demolish the 7-storey 1970s Town Hall Extension
• Demolish the 3-storey 1930s Cineworld cinema on King Street
• Demolish the 3-4 storey 1900s apartment blocks belonging to Thomas Pocklington Trust, and the 1950s Friends Meeting House
• Construct two new 15+ storey apartment blocks containing 320 luxury apartments - but no affordable housing
• Construct premises for Council offices and shops in two new buildings, up to 9 storeys, either side of the 1930s Town Hall
• Create a 2,000m2 supermarket (similar in size to Sainsbury's, King's Mall) - even though there are already 5 mid-size supermarkets within 500m of the site
• Develop a "new" public square between the 1930s Town Hall and King Street
• Construct a pedestrian bridge across the A4 to Furnivall Gardens and the river, with banks over 5m high

December 5, 2010