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Pilbrow back to drawing board on two London projects

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Pilbrow & Partners is working up revisions to two major London schemes which hit planning brick walls in recent weeks

At the end of last month, Hammersmith and Fulham Council turned down plans for a 16-storey hotel on the site of a former Walkabout pub next to Shepherd’s Bush Common.

Then, last week, the practice withdrew plans for a 685 home new community in Docklands before Tower Hamlets councillors could consider a report by its officers recommending refusal.

Practice founder, Fred Pilbrow, told the AJ: ‘We are starting discussions about getting both schemes back on track. We want to build what was strong about both of them.’

At Shepherd’s Bush, Pilbrow, on behalf of developer Dorsett Hospitality International was refused permission because the proposed building, described as am ‘Edwardian campanile inspired by the Imperial Colcutt Tower in South Kensington’, was too large and dominant for the surrounding conservation area.

Pilbrow said: ‘It was a big disappointment. We had a good pre-application process with a lot of positive feedback during the public exhibition, and the design review council liked the scheme.

‘After we submitted it, we got a lot of negative comments.’

He said revised plans would be likely to be lower, but that he hoped to retain as much of the proposal to create a new public square as possible.

In Tower Hamlets, planners had recommended councillors reject plans for a new community in South Quays proposed by developer Far East Consortium.

The 60 storey Alpha Square scheme at 50 Marsh Wall featured 685 new homes, a new school, a health centre, shops and public spaces (pictured below).

Planners said the scheme exhibited ‘clear and demonstrable overdevelopment’, citing concerns over the amount of public space, an ‘insensitive relationship’ with surrounding properties, and an ‘unacceptable’ school and health centre. It also said insufficient information had been provided to support the applicant’s contention it could only provide 15% of the housing as affordable.

Pilbrow said: ‘We are confident the scheme is sustainable, but we just didn’t have time to close of some of the concerns.

‘It is a dense and ambitious scheme but we are confident that the quantum of development proposed is deliverable.’

Alpha Square

Sketch of the Alpha Square development by Fred Pilbrow

Alpha Square

Sketch of the Alpha Square development by archtiect Fred Pilbrow

The Alpha Square development

Street-level view of Pilbrow &Partners’ Alpha Square development.


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