WESTFIELD’S major expansion plans – set to include 1,522 homes and a new public green – are set to be rubber-stamped this week.
The Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre opened in 2008 but already has ambitions to add an extra 55,000 square metres of retail space, including a new department store, rumoured to be John Lewis, alongside cafes and restaurants.
A new street would be built on the Ariel Way site north of the centre and a new White City green, the same size as Brook Green, opposite the BBC Television Centre.
The £1billion project will include thousands of new homes in five high-rise blocks, ranging from eight to 20 storeys, with just over 10 per cent – 162 homes – classed as affordable housing.
That proportion has angered Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, who said: “The sheer density of the development proposed is unacceptable. The proposal for more than 1,500 residential units on this site in addition to a major extension of the existing Westfield shopping mall is unrealistic and will put a strain on the local infrastructure.”
Mr Slaughter argues the plans fail to address the need for social-rented housing and family homes, or meet Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s 40 per cent affordable housing target.
“Much of the scheme comprises high-rise luxury apartments and most will be unaffordable to even wealthy local residents and is clearly targeted at investors or those able to pay city centre prices,” he said.
Granville Mansions Residents’ Association, McFarlane Road Residents’ Association and the Hammersmith Society also objected to the development because of its scale, while the Greater London Authority has raised its own concerns about the lack of affordable housing.
Westfield has scaled its plans back since its initial planning application in August, with the number of home falling by 124 units and a reduction in the height of some of the towers.
It is also pledging a further 250 affordable homes and 2,570 full-time jobs, and will have to complete the phased project within 15 years.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council planning officers recommended the project be approved at a committee meeting on Thursday night.
Their report said: “The development will contribute to the regeneration of the area, improve the vitality and viability of Shepherd’s Bush, improve employment opportunities and promote sustainable economic growth.
“The size, profile and location of the proposed retail floorspace is considered to be acceptable and would not compromise the vitality and viability of the existing centre, or of surrounding centres.”
Westfield will spend £1m on road improvements and £3.9m on platform lengthening at Shepherd’s Bush Overground station, along with an extension to the ticket office and a new northern entrance.
The Mayor of London will have the final say on whether the expansion can take place.