A CONTROVERSIAL decision to pull down an industrial park that is home to several thriving businesses could be overturned by central Government.
Plans by developers Londonewcastle to clear the Goldhawk Industrial Estate in Shepherd's Bush to make way for 57 homes and new commercial units were approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council in September despite fierce opposition from residents, but the secretary of state has now called in the application.
A public inquiry will have to be held before any work can begin.
The plans would mean nearly 200 jobs being lost from the area as smoothie manufacturer Innocent Drinks and recording studio Soundhouse would be forced to move away from the estate.
A letter to the council on Wednesday (November 18), sent on behalf of Communites and Local Government Minsiter John Denham, revealed potential concerns in a number of areas, including the layout, scale, landscaping and appearance of the scheme, the impact it would have, whether it meets guidelines for creating affordable housing and mixed communities, and whether it agrees with the council's own planning rules.
Labour opposition leader Steve Cowan said: "This site is not suitable for housing. It currently employs nearly 200 people – those businesses will be moved away and the area will lose the jobs. We want the secretary of state to review it on the basis of protecting those jobs and stopping Hammersmith being blighted by this white elephant."
Veteran BBC broadcaster and local resident John Humphrys previously wrote to the council to express his dismay at the possible loss of Soundhouse, which is believed to be unable to meet the cost of relocating its purpose-built studios.