WORK is set to begin to transform derelict Fulham Wharf into a hub of restaurants, shops and flats.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury's signed a partnership agreement with building firm Barratt London to move forward with the project after planning permission was given for 463 flats, a new Sainsbury's to replace the existing branch in Townmead Road, cafes, bars, a creche and a gym.
The companies say the redevelopment will 'open up the riverside' with a new public path on a section of the riverbank that has been empty and inaccessible for years, while they say they hope to attract wildlife to the site with a 'dedicated ecological area'.
The development will be built in two phases, with the construction of the 100,000 sqft supermarket and just over half the flats happening first, with the demolition of the existing Townmead Road store and building of the remainder of the flats following.
Architects say the first phase of accommodation will wrap around and rise above the new supermarket to a height of 17 storeys. Fifty-two of the new properties will be shared ownership while 14 of the second phase flats will be social rented.
Residents living in the area, who were first made aware of the plans two years ago, gave a mixed reaction to the development. Farrier Derek Smith, 66, said: "On the one hand it's great they are doing something with the area but at the same time I worry it's just going to be another of those generic river developments that have started springing up all over London."
Mark Brodie, a bar manager, said: "Something had to be done and I think it will be great for the area."
Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s property director said: "After two years of planning we are thrilled to be teaming up with Barratt London to finally bring forward the redevelopment of this area. We always aim to play an important role in the local community and are looking forward to opening up this part of the Thames for the benefit of both our customers and neighbours. This will provide a new shopping and living experience unique to this part of London."