WORK to improve Shepherd’s Bush Green will finally begin in January after years of wrangling.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council is spending £4million on its vision for the green, but angered residents with plans to build a new café and cut down horse chestnut and ash trees to make way for four mounds on each corner.
Campaigners argued the new café would become a haven for drug users and alcoholics and convinced a government inspector to refuse permission for both controversial aspects of the plan at a hearing in June.
But the rest of the project was given the thumbs up and workers are set to pick up their tools and begin work on transforming the three-hectare green space in the new year.
It is hoped the project will be finished by the time the Olympics arrive in London in the summer.
Councillor Greg Smith, residents’ services leader, said: “It has been a long time coming but we are absolutely thrilled that work will finally start soon to improve this flagship open space.
“The scheme will undoubtedly benefit everyone who lives near, visits or works in and around Shepherd’s Bush, as well as rejuvenating a park that really needs a boost. There have been several years of frustration but I am sure that the improvements will be well worth waiting for.”
Two new playgrounds, one for young children and one for older children and teenagers, will include swings and slides, a six-yard high space net, climbing walls and roundabouts.
Footpaths and cycle paths will be widened, a tree-lined avenue will offer a walking route around the green and the Grade II listed war memorial will be reset onto new granite plinth.
Melanie Whitlock, of the Hammersmith Society, said: “We are thrilled that this work shall be taking place.
“We have always been in favour of some renovations or improvements to the green as it really is in great need of some TLC. We are pleased that the scheme is going ahead in a way that complements the historic nature of the green.”