Planning decent neighbourhoods

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Planning decent neighbourhoods

Tuesday June 2, 2009

A vision for how Hammersmith & Fulham should develop over the next 20 years is published today, with H&F vowing to become west London’s ‘borough of opportunity’.

The Council, in its planning blueprint, wants to focus major development on five areas as a way of boosting employment opportunities in deprived areas, creating a better mix of housing and improving the local environment.

Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh said: “£232 million is already being spent on improving council housing through the Government’s Decent Homes programme, but now the Council is focused on ensuring we have Decent Neighbourhoods as well.

“A decent neighbourhood is one where there are local job opportunities, where people can step on to the property ladder without feeling they have to move away and where they can bring up their children in a cleaner, safer, pleasant environment with access to good quality parks and open spaces.

“A decent neighbourhood is also one where we have 21st Century schools of choice and that’s why we are planning to spend £245 million on improving primary and secondary schools across the borough in the next 15 years.”

The five areas for major development are: Hammersmith Town Centre, South Fulham Riverside, White City Opportunity Area, West Kensington/Earls Court/North Fulham and Old Oak Common in the north of the borough.

The Council’s vision includes:

  • A future Crossrail station at Old Oak Common which could act as a high-speed rail hub linking Heathrow to the rest of the UK
  • Development of an international conference centre and hotels within the Earls Court and Olympia complexes as a major way of boosting the local economy and bringing new jobs to one of the most deprived areas in London
  • Regeneration of Shepherds Bush Market and its expansion onto land adjacent to the area
  • 6,500 new homes across the borough in 10 years, with the focus on providing low-cost home ownership
  • The transformation of other housing estates in White City, central Hammersmith and North Fulham.

The details are published in a consultation paper called, The Local Development Framework Core Strategy Options, which sets out how the borough could develop, with the Council indicating its preferred options.

Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh added “We know that there are some significant areas of deprivation in Hammersmith & Fulham. We want to break down the barriers that lead to unemployment, poor health and worklessness. Over the next 20 years we want to work with local residents in coming up with ideas on how we can improve their neighbourhood. We want to make sure H&F is a borough of opportunity for all – not just some – where everybody regardless of background has a chance to get on in life.”

*The paper is out for consultation until 17 July. Once comments have been received a further version of the document will be published in October.  Once agreed the eventual strategy will be adopted in early 2011.