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Empire House site up for sale? I do not be-leeive it!

By Bridget Osborne

Empire House site up for sale? I do not be-leeive it! 27 March 2018

I find myself becoming more Victor Meldrew like with each passing year. But really! The north side of the High Rd opposite Turnham Green has been blighted for several years. Shops closed, mature trees cut down, days and weeks of residential groups spending their time opposing plans to add to Empire House, and now, despite winning the battle, achieving the planning permission and withstanding an attempt at a Judicial Review, the developers aren’t going to build after all.

Estate agents Frank Knight is advertising ‘An outstanding residential led development opportunity in Chiswick with the benefit of a detailed residential planning permission and excellent views across Turnham Green towards the City and the river Thames.’ Yes and very pissed off neighbours.

Karen Liebreich of the Chiswick High Rd Action Group says ‘CHRAG is unsurprised to see that Lend Lease has now decided to sell up. Having blighted part of our High Road by closing down the shops in their frontage; having annoyed every local residents’ group in the area by fighting for a higher, wider and deeply unsympathetic development; having pushed local residents to taking the council to Judicial Review on the treatment of the planning process; having promised much community benefit and delivered precisely zero; having left their site vacant and desolate for two years; our immediate feeling is good riddance. Chiswick High Road Action Group looks forward to an honest and constructive discussion with the new buyer about what they plan for the site’.

The advert describes the site as ‘extending to approximately 0.41 HA / 1.01 acres’ and says it comes with ‘Detailed planning permission for 137 residential units plus up to 7 retail units with associated plant and parking comprising a total Gross Internal Area (GIA) of 14,075 sq m / 151,503 sq ft.’ It also offers the ‘Opportunity to add additional value through a masterplan with the adjoining Sainsbury’s site.’

Back to the drawing board then.