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Architect Richard Rogers: more time needed to consult on Riverside Studios expansion

Hammersmith and Fulham Council will decide tonight whether to allow the redevelopment of the studios

Architect Richard Rogers

Millennium Dome architect Richard Rogers has urged for the decision on Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios’ expansion plans scheduled for tonight to be delayed.

The leading architect was among supporters calling on Hammersmith and Fulham Council to cancel the planning meeting tonight and extend the consultation period to allow a ‘more informed and constructive discussion about the future of this important arts centre’.

Riverside Studios seeks to demolish the famous building in Crisp Road, Hammersmith, and build a seven-storey complex including 165 homes, 8,600 sqm of commercial space for television and film recording studios, theatre, cinema, offices and a cafe or bar.

A council spokesman said the meeting will be going ahead tonight as planned (Dec 19).

The proposals have been backed by stars including Simon Callow and Jo Brand who argue the expanded studios would become a ‘powerhouse of theatrical energy’.

But residents and other high profile names including pop artist Sir Peter Blake argue that the scheme is too big and would create an eyesore on the Thames.

How the redeveloped Riverside Studios could look
 

Mr Rogers, whose company Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners is based in nearby Rainville Road, Fulham, made the latest plea in a letter printed in today’s Times supported by theatre and film director Sir Richard Eyre and architect Will Alsop.

They wrote: “We believe that there has been insufficient consultation for such an important site, next to the Grade II listed Hammersmith Bridge, and on this rare riverside location, in a development in which arts facilities look likely to play a secondary role to privately-run TV studios.”

The council gave people an extra fortnight in October to respond to the public consultation, but campaigners feel the plans have been rushed through.

Michael Anderson, secretary of the Crisp Road Residents Association, said: “People across the area are deeply concerned that plans to  turn an arts centre they support and love into a block of £1million flats are being rushed through at a hastily organised planning meeting on the last Thursday before Christmas and with so little care, consideration or consultation.”

 

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