The London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s planning committee this week approved an application by the Dominvs Group, a privately owned hotel operator, to redevelop the 1990s’ former West London magistrates court.
The new building, which will be located on a 0.67 hectare ‘island’ site between an underground line and the A4, will be the tallest building in Hammersmith town centre if it is built. It is located next to ‘The Ark’, a 65m tall, locally listed office block.
Dominvs is proposing a hotel consisting of two separate buildings, providing 842 bedrooms and total floor space of 34,916 sqaure metres.
The 23-storey tower forms part of the northern hotel building, which is closer to Hammersmith town centre.
An officers' report recommending consent for the scheme, says 150 objections were received, many in relation to the scheme's design and size as well as the impact on traffic.
Despite the concerns of residents in neighbouring streets about the scale of the proposed development, officers said the town centre is a designated location for tall buildings .
The report recognises that the development would have "some degree of harmful impact" upon Hammersmith town centre’s skyline.
However it concludes that the scheme will provide a "positive" addition to the skyline and the townscape by creating a "landmark" at a "key gateway" to the town centre.
The report states: "The proposals would also serve to reinforce and complement the form, architecture and materiality of the adjacent Ark and Lilla Huset buildings; creating a legible cluster of buildings within this ‘island’ site."
According to the report, the scheme's design underwent a "fundamental" review compared to initial plans.
The council’s design review panel concluded that the revised scheme's massing and layout provided a more "elegant and refined’ approach that reduced the overall impact upon the surrounding area".
The new hotel would add to the variety and quality of visitor accommodation available locally while providing a "high end facility" in a key location in London, the document added.
The development would also, it went on to say, help efforts to boost the regeneration of Hammersmith town centre through the creation of about 300 new jobs and by increasing the pedestrian "permeability" of the proposed site.