Monday, 16 October 2017

Old Laundry Site Planning Application

Old Laundry Site
A new planning application has been submitted for the old Spring Grove Laundry site that runs next to Shepherd's Bush market (the laundry itself closed in 2009).

You can't see the site easily from the street, but if you take the train from Shepherd's Bush Market Tube Station to Hammersmith - you can get a pretty good view.

Friday, 13 October 2017

White City Living Video



In the video above you can catch a glimpse of what White City will look like when St James have finished their White City scheme, known as "White City Living". St James is the property developer currently re-developing the old M&S warehouse site to the east of Wood Lane, next door to Westfield. You can see our post about their original plans back in 2014.  In May 2015 they got planning approval for their proposed steel and glass project, which will be not unlike Paddington Basin in appearance and design.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Tube Strike Planned for Thursday

Central Line and Hammersmith & City line are likely to be affected
London Underground station staff may be striking again on Thursday.

Members of the drivers' union Aslef are set to strike on Thursday in a dispite over working conditions. Talks between the two sides are supposed to continue today.

Even if the strike is only a partial one, conditions will be horrendous for those able to get to work. Thursday might be a day to work from home, for those who can.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Shepherd's Bush Market Plans Killed by Council

Shepherd's Bush Market

The idea was to turn the old laundry site - currently just an empty space behind the Market - to rival Shoreditch's Boxpark.  Developers had applied to open cafes, restaurants, artists’ studios and co-working spaces in 74 glass-fronted containers designed in a similar style to Pop Brixton and Shoreditch's Boxpark. 

But the Council says no. So, having killed off the last attempt to redevelop the market, LBHF now kills off another one. Is there anything developers can do to get their plans past our do-nothing Council?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Princess Victoria Pub to Re-Open

Princess Victoria
Excellent news for residents of Shepherd's Bush - the Princess Victoria pub (which now has its very own Wikipedia page) on the Uxbridge road is set to re-open, according to a piece at Shepherd'sBushW12

The new owners are the Three Cheers Pub Co. A licensing application has been submitted to our Council, LBHF by Six Cheers Ltd. You can view the application and add your own comments here.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Charity Cricket Match at Chiswick House on 16 September

Cricket at Chiswick House
St Stephen’s Church and St Stephen's School will be battling it out on the cricket pitch on Saturday 16 September at a charity fund-raiser to be held at one of West London's most beautiful locations - Chiswick House.

The event is being held in aid of the St Stephen's Roof Fund, which is seeking to raise £200,000 to fix the Victorian roof, now leaking and badly in need of replacement.

Families and children are welcome, and you are also welcome to bring a picnic.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

White City Ziggurat Towers 34 Stories Over Wood Lane

34 storey tower on Wood Lane
The new 34-storey tower rising at the top of Wood Lane is politely described by the Hammersmith Society as "controversial".

"Very ugly" might be a better word for this weirdly asymmetrical ziggurat which now dominates views north from Shepherd's Bush and White City.

It's yet another example in our neighbourhood of a missed opportunity to build something genuinely attractive. After all, Imperial College had a blank canvas when they started planning their new £200m White City Campus north of the Westway.

Instead of creating something beautiful, their architects have put up - for the most part - bland and characterless high rise buildings. The site is brand new and shiny but it already manages to look dated.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

BT's Phone Booth Scam

Another pointless phone booth in Shepherd's Bush
What's The Point of Phone Booths? We asked this question back in January, noting that they seem to be springing up everywhere, despite everyone nowadays having a mobile phone.

Thanks to the Hammersmith Society and the Ladbroke Association, we now have the answer.

It's not about telephones, it's about advertising. According to the Summer 2017 Ladbroke Association newsletter, phone companies like BT "can make a lot of money selling advertising space". Today, a phone booth is "no more than a hooded upright stand with an advertisement on one side and a telephone on the other".

But if this is - as it seems - just an advertising scam, without fulfilling any public need - why does our Council allow this to take place?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Lidl Coming to Shepherd's Bush

Two weeks ago I was having my hair cut by the excellent Polish stylists in the West 12 Centre (£5! How can you go wrong?) and I asked what was happening to the old Morrisons space that has been empty since November 2016. "Lidl is coming", they said. "Really? Is that true?" I asked. "50% true", they said.

Anyway it turns out that the rumour is true, and it just goes to show that barbers and hair stylists always get the news first.  Lidl is coming, hopefully in place by Christmas, so budget supermarket shopping will return to Shepherd's Bush. You can read the full story here.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

King Street Development Dead - Cineworld Demolished

Cineworld in Hammersmith - demolished for nothing
The Hammersmith Society, guardians of good architecture in our neighbourhood, have reported that the redevelopment of King St in Hammersmith is dead, apparently because of "differences between the Council and the developer". 

What is most disappointing about this is that the Cineworld, the lovely old art deco cinema on King St, has already been demolished, leaving a giant hole in the ground next to the Town Hall, and no prospect of anything good coming of it. 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Music For Grenfell at St Stephen's Church 27 July at 7pm

Music For Grenfell is a concert to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, and will take place at St Stephen's Church on the Uxbridge Road  Thursday 27th July, from 7pm.

Tickets are £10 on the door, or available online through this link.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

New Post Office - Not The Worst Place on Earth

Many Shepherd's Bush residents were very upset when our local Post Office on Shepherd's Bush Green closed. Local MP Andy Slaughter even got involved, chiding the Post Office for abandoning the area.

The new Post Office is in Westfield, at the back of WH Smith. I went there this morning and found myself in a shiny new space with short queues and mailing machines that actually work.

Notable by their absence were the crazy people who used to mumble menacingly in the (reliably long) queue in the old Post Office on Shepherd's Bush Green.

To remember just what you are missing, read Richard Herring's memorable piece on the "worst place on earth" that was the old Shepherd's Bush Post Office.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Why Does LBHF Take So Long To Repair Our Parks?

Hammersmith Park climbing mound in April 2016
Early in 2016 some long-overdue repairs were begun by our local Council, The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, to the children's playground in Hammersmith Park. A company called Valley Landscape Management put up fences around the damaged climbing mound (see above) and began repairs. But, more than a year later, the job still isn't done. Why does it take our Council so long to complete basic repairs to our parks?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Funfair is Back - But Must It Be For a Full Month?

The funfair is back. Good news for some, but for many local residents, who hate the noise and disturbance, it's a betrayal of promises by our Council to reduce the impact of these events.

George Irvin's Funfair is here for a full month this time, from 21 July until 20 August. That is much longer than usual (in the past it's been around 2 weeks tops), and now it is open until 10pm, surely well past most childrens' bed-times.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Princess Victoria Closes

Princess Victoria
Shepherd’s Bush's venerable pub, The Princess Victoria, which was awarded the London County Dining Pub of the Year in last year's edition of the Good Pub Guide, has closed.

The Princess Victoria, or "The PV", as everyone called it, was an excellent pub.  Located on an otherwise unremarkable section of the Uxbridge road, this former Victorian gin palace was transformed into a stunning gastropub which somehow managed to achieve excellent food without the pretension of many pubs-turned-restaurants.

Monday, 26 June 2017

ITV To Move to White City in 2018

Jonathan Ross is coming to Wood Lane
ITV Studios is to relocate from the South Bank to White City Place and Television Centre.

ITV Studios is moving its Daytime production business from their present location south of the river Thames to White City, described as a "growing hub for the creative industries in west London".

ITV Studios Daytime will be based in White City during the redevelopment of their South Bank site.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Hammersmith Society Awards

Last night the Hammersmith Society announced this year’s winners of its annual awards, presented by Cllr Michael Cartwright, Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham. The ceremony was held at the Hammersmith Society AGM on Wednesday 21 June.

Every year the Hammersmith Society hands out awards for good architecture in our neighbourhood - and wooden spoons for bad projects which make our urban environment worse.

So, who were the winners (and losers) this year?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Grenfell Tower - How Can Our Community Help?

Rev Anne Cowley
The one redeeming feature of the appalling Grenfell Tower fire yesterday has been the way our community has spontaneously come together, with remarkable displays of generosity from local people, offering money, food, blankets and comfort to those displaced and injured by the disaster.

In this guest post Anne Cowley, Associate Vicar of St Stephen's Church on the Uxbridge Road, writes about her experience of yesterday's fire. She also writes about what local people can do to get involved and help out.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Massive Blaze Destroys Grenfell Tower in North Kensington

Grenfell Tower ablaze
Anyone in our neighbourhood kept awake last night by the sound of helicopters will have sensed that something bad was going on. 

A huge fire ripped through Grenfell Tower, one of the big tower blocks next to the Kensington Leisure Centre. 

The blaze was immense and will doubtless have claimed many lives.

To see the full story, see the BBC's report here, and the report from Shepherd's Bush W12 here

Friday, 9 June 2017

Andy Slaughter MP Re-Elected With Huge Majority

Andy Slaughter
Labour's Andy Slaughter has won a thumping victory in Hammersmith, thrashing his Conservative opponent and, once again, more than doubling his majority.

The final figures are as follows:
Andy Slaughter: Labour 33,475 votes, or 63.9% of the total. that's a swing of 13.9% to Labour.

Charlie Dewhirst: Conservative 14,724 votes, or 28.1% of the total. That's a swing away from the Tories of 8.3%.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Is Charing Cross Hospital Really Under Threat?

Charing Cross - in need of saving?
Parliamentary candidate Andy Slaughter has put saving Charing Cross hospital at the heart of his campaign to be re-elected.  All over our Borough there are signs saying "Save Charing Cross - Vote Labour".

Trouble is, does Charing Cross need saving? Earlier this year our local NHS Trust sent LBHF leader Stephen Cowan a letter saying that it doesn't. They reprimanded the Council for their misleading claims about Charing Cross, pointing out that it is not in fact under threat of closure. To see the letter yourself, follow this link.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Candidates - Joyce Onstad

Joyce Onstad
Joyce Onstad is the LibDem candidate for Hammersmith in the General Election on Thursday. In recent weeks we have seen the Conservative Party's polling numbers decline, but the chief beneficiary of this has been Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, with the Lib Dems generally less successful in benefitting from the Conservatives' troubles.

However, all politics is local, and the Lib Dems will be looking to improve their position in our Constituency on the result in 2015. Could an outsider take the seat? It seems unlikely, but Joyce Onstad insists it is possible. We put the same questions to her that we did to the other candidates last week.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Candidates - Charlie Dewhirst

Charlie Dewhirst
Charlie Dewhirst is the Conservative candidate for Hammersmith, hoping to unseat sitting Labour MP Andy Slaughter. 

With the polls narrowing, and Slaughter having increased his majority at the last election, Charlie Dewhirst's task seems like a tough one. Still, Hammersmith will be on the wish-list for Conservative Party strategists hoping to win this seat in a gentrifying area of West London. 

We asked Charlie Dewhirst the same questions we put to Andy Slaughter last week. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

The Candidates - Andy Slaughter

Andy Slaughter
Andy Slaughter has represented the London Borough of Hammersmith for Labour since 2010.  Prior to that he was MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush from 2005 to 2010 and - before that - Leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

He is now fighting for re-election again, facing off against his Conservative rival, Charlie Dewhirst, who also ran against him in the 2015 election. We asked Andy a few questions about the major issues on which voters will cast their ballots.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Election Debate at St Stephen's Church on 24 May

St Stephens Church on the Uxbridge Road is hosting a political hustings next week on Wednesday 24 May, inviting all the political parties running for office in Hammersmith to speak.

The Panel will be chaired by independent journalist Rita Payne, and the subject of the debate will be "Church and State: Friends or Foes".

Come along on wednesday and put your questions (on any subject) to the candidates who are running for office in the General Election on June 8th.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Hammersmith - The Candidates

Hammersmith
Six candidates are to contest the Hammersmith constituency in the 8 June General Election.

The principal candidates are local councillor Charlie Dewhirst for the Conservatives and Andy Slaughter for Labour, making this contest something of a re-match of 2015, as these are the same two candidates that faced one another in the last General Election. They are also the only two with a serious chance of winning the seat.

The other candidates are Jack Bovill for UKIP, Jagdeosingh Hauzaree, an Independent,  Alex Horn for the Greens, and Joyce Onstad for the Liberal Democrats.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Heathrow - Last Chance to Stop the Third Runway

Theresa May's government, if re-elected (as seems likely), supports the Davis Report recommendation of a new North West runway at Heathrow.  

The Third Runway will result in many new flight paths and, for the first time, Shepherd's Bush, Askew Road, Ravenscourt Park and Chiswick will be affected. 

What will this mean? In short, a dramatic increase in noise levels, with aircraft directly overhead every 90 seconds from approximately 5.30am to 11.30pm. 

So the question for residents of Shepherd's Bush is, can the Third Runway still be stopped?

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Register to Vote by Monday - Or Lose Your Vote

Monday 22 May is the last chance to register to vote in the coming general election.  By now you should have had a letter confirming your registration and letting you know where your polling booth is located. Usually, it's a short walk from your house.

Plenty of people aren't registered in our Borough, and the 2014 changes in voter registration appear to have made things worse, especially among certain groups, such as students and minorities.

According to a recent piece in the Guardian, voter registration among school leavers has fallen 25% since individual registration of voters (rather than registration by the head of a household) came into force.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

White City Vision in the Evening Standard

White City - the vision
Another vision of the new White City development has been published in the Evening Standard.

It's a promotional piece, but it has some nice 3D images of the future of White City, and gives a useful impression of how the redeveloped neighbourhood will look.

On the left you can the see the new John Lewis department store, part of the ongoing expansion of Westfield, and further to the left the tall towers of the St James development on the old M&S warehouse site.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Pergola on the Roof is Back

Pergola on the Roof
Pergola on the Roof, the rooftop restaurant that brings outdoor dining to the top of the old soon-to-be-demolished carpark on Wood Lane, re-opened to the public on 3 May. 

Open all summer long, until 1st October, Pergola on the Roof follows on from Storeys, the 2015 street food venture that brightened up White City for the summer of 2015.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Former Unigate Dairy Site Plans To Go On Display

Imperial College Campus
Plans for the old Unigate Dairy site in White City will soon go on display.

Imperial College London, who own the land and plan to develop it, are holding a public consultation on their proposals for what will be the southern part of their new White City campus.

The university, which is building from scratch an entirely new campus in White City, says that feedback from the event will be considered before a planning application is submitted to our local Council (LBHF) later this year.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Wood Lane Esso Station to Become Art Installation

former petrol station on Wood Lane. Google Maps

Anyone who drives in London knows how hard it can be to find a working petrol station these days. The old Esso station on Wood Lane closed a while back (see photo above), and site owners Transport For London (TFL) don't seem to have an immediate plan for what do with it. In the meantime, it's fast attracting graffiti and rubbish. So, White City developers Stanhope have agreed to lease the site so as to "improve the area’s appearance and eventually introduce pop up uses."  Stanhope is taking a three year lease (with a two –year break clause) from TFL, and has appointed artists Craig Redman and Karl Maier to "create an art installation" at the former petrol station.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Hammersmith Society 2017 Environment Awards

Nominations for the Hammersmith Society 2017 Environment Awards are now open.

If there is a new building in our neighbourhood that you like and admire - or even one you hate - now is your chance to put it forward: for an award - or a wooden spoon.

The 2017 Awards will be presented at the Society’s AGM on Thursday 21 June, 7.00pm at the Dorsett Hotel, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Re-Imagining Shepherd's Bush Green

Imagine if Shepherd's Bush Green was a pedestrian area, rather than a giant traffic island. An impossible dream? Not according to architects Henning Stummel, who have made a proposal to pedestrianise the north side of the Common and re-route two-way traffic around the west and south. The proposal is supported by the Hammersmith Society and was included in their most recent newsletter.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Hoxton Hotel Proposal for Shepherd's Bush

The Hammersmith Society has revealed details of the proposed Hoxton Hotel on the west side of Shepherd's Bush Green. The proposed new hotel will displace the current Post Office, and the existing buildings will likely be demolished, assuming that planning permission is granted. The image above shows the Dorsett Hotel on the left, and the proposed Hoxton Hotel on the right.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Shepherd's Bush Vicar to Run London Marathon

Bob Mayo, Vicar of St Stephen's Church on the Uxbridge Road, is running the London Marathon this weekend, Sunday 23 April. He is running to raise money for Street Child World Cup, a valuable charity who do important work with street children around the world. 

Bob is asking local residents for sponsorship to help him raise much-needed funds. 

You can find his personal page at VirginMoneyGiving.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Comedy Festival at The Bush Theatre 1-4 June

The Bush Theatre is hosting a Comedy festival this summer, running from June 1-4, featuring comedy acts Nina Conti, Tim Key, Joe Lycett and Shaun Keaveny.

The Bush theatre re-opened in March this year, after a year-long period of restoration, with a new season of political theatre, starting with "Black Lives, Black Words" on March 23.

For more details, times and tickets, visit: www.bushtheatre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 020 8743 5050.


The Shepherd's Bush Blog offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush.  If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at shepherdsbushblog(at)gmail.com

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Election Season Again - Who Will Win?

Andy Slaughter MP
It's election season again, with a General Election set for 8 June. Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter, who defied his party's national setbacks in the 2015 General Election and was re-elected with a convincing majority, must fight once more to retain his seat.

We don't yet know who his opponents will be, but one thing is for sure - Andy Slaughter is a skilful politician who almost doubled his share of the vote at the last election. Even with Labour lagging in the polls, it will surely take an impressive Conservative candidate to unseat this well-established MP.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Evening Standard "Guide to Living in Shepherd's Bush"

Westfield extension 
The Evening Standard have run an extensive piece on life in Shepherd's Bush, exploring property, food and life in general. As the ES puts it: "Shepherd’s Bush and nearby White City are at the centre of an £8 billion regeneration that will see the already massively popular Westfield London shopping centre expanded with a new John Lewis flagship department store, plus 70 new shops and restaurants and more than 1,500 new homes at the White City Living development." To see the full article, follow this link.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Easter Egg Hunt at Brook Green Farmer's Market

Brook Green farmer's Market - every Saturday
Brook Green Food Market and Kitchen will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

Children's entertainment starts at 11.30 am and will include "face painting and an Easter egg hunt for all ages".

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Walkabout Gets Planning Permission

New building viewed from the north side of Shepherd's Bush Green
Dorsett Hospitality International, the group who renovated the old Shepherd's Bush Pavilion and have turned it into a successful hotel, have now received formal planning application to redevelop the old Walkabout pub, formerly the Shepherd's Bush Cinematograph theatre

The proposed building, which includes a new tower built into the old facade, took into account extensive community feedback, and aimed to make the new building fit better into the context of the existing Dorsett facade. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Tri-Borough Agreement to End

Hammersmith Town Hall
The Tri-Borough Agreement between The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster Council, and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, is coming to an end.

BBC news have reported on it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-39415618.  So what does it mean for residents of Shepherd's Bush?  It may mean hikes in Council Tax, given that the original TriBorough Agreement, brought in when all three councils were run by the Conservatives, was designed to save money in the first place.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Albertine Gets an A* for Food and Wine

Shepherd's Bush teacher and foodie Toni Sharpe has reviewed the re-launched and re-upholstered Albertine Wine Bar on Wood Lane for us, giving it an A* rating. 

The Albertine has recently re-opened under the guiding hand of local chef Allegra McEvedy, whose Mum started up the Albertine back in the 1970s. 

You can read Toni's review below.

Friday, 17 March 2017

TFL Gets Planning Permission for Railway Arches

Restored arches near Wood Lane - how it might look
In November 2016 Transport For London showcased its plans to redevelop the arches near Wood Lane Tube station, to take advantage of the Westfield extension and the new proposed public park which will straddle the Hammersmith and City railway line.

TFL’s plans to transform 31 railway arches near Wood Lane Tube station into retail units and commercial space have now been granted planning permission by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

W12 is "Getting its Mojo Back" Says Evening Standard

White City - how it might look
According to a recent article in the Evening Standard, W12 is "getting its mojo back", thanks to all the new construction work in our neighbourhood.

"Westfield is expanding, the BBC building is being transformed, and Soho House is moving in — W12 is staking its claim as London’s latest hotspot".

To see the full story, follow this link.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Uxbridge Road Residents To Sue Council Over Parking

A "Zone J Parking Campaign" has been launched by a "broad coalition of residents, churches, the mosque and local businesses". The coalition have launched a legal challenge to the new parking scheme that Hammersmith and Fulham Council have imposed on Zone J - the parking zone that extends up the Uxbridge Road. 

According to the official website, legal action has been taken, "not to block better parking for residents, but to stop a thoroughly bad scheme and to get better and less oppressive parking controls".

Friday, 3 March 2017

Third Runway Consultation at Hammersmith Town Hall on Monday 6 March

The new face of Shepherd's Bush?
On Monday 6 March the Department for Transport is holding a Third Runway consultation exhibition at Hammersmith Town Hall.

H&fNoThirdRunway will be at the Town Hall on 6 March between 11am and 8pm, protesting.

Although Heathrow has not yet released its expected flight paths for the Third Runway, it is certain that many Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush residents will be overflown by aircraft.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Reborn Albertine is a Winner

Albertine Wine Bar
Local chef Allegra McEvedy (co-founder of Leon) has re-opened the Albertine Wine Bar, the historic BBC watering hole on Wood Lane - and one of the nicest boozers in our neighbourhood.

But, while the Albertine was always a great place to get a drink, you wouldn't necessarily have praised the food.

Now, all this has changed, as the Albertine has become one of the best restaurants in Shepherd's Bush.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Shepherds Bush Businesses Rates Up By Nearly a Quarter

Dorsett Hotel - flagship business in Shepherd's Bush
Businesses in Hammersmith and Fulham are likely be faced with a massive increase in the local Business Rate.

A leaked breakdown of changes in business rates show Shepherds Bush businesses are in line for a whopping 22.8% increase – a huge extra burden to carry.

The changes in Business Rates are designed to reflect rising rental property prices - and our borough is one of the worst affected. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Central Line on Strike Wednesday 22nd February

Central Line will be affected
London Underground station staff may be striking again next week. This latest strike will begin late on Tuesday 21st February and last until the morning of Thursday 22nd February.

Time to buy a bike, or work from home.