Bats hamper new homes in Hammersmith

Bats are hampering a £42 million plan for 91 flats beside Hammersmith Bridge
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Bats are hampering a £42 million plan for 91 flats beside Hammersmith Bridge. The scheme has been rejected after claims that the building’s size and bright lights would confuse migrating flocks of birds and drive away bats and “other noctural wildlife”.

Not-for-profit A2Dominion asked to build the new homes beside Riverside Studios but Hammersmith & Fulham council called the proposal “unneighbourly”, and said the scheme’s modern design was of “insufficient quality for its highly prominent location”.

It was said that the apartment block, rising to up to eight storeys, would have “unacceptable” and ‘detrimental’ impact on views of Grade II-listed Hammersmith Bridge.

The plans had caused uproar among local residents, including the Hammersmith Society and the Digby Mansions Residents Association, while neighbouring Richmond Council said that light pollution from the block could have harmed migrating birds.

A2Dominion bought the Hammersmith site in 2009 and had originally hoped that its scheme would be completed by 2013. Although its plans were criticised for not including enough on-site affordable homes - around a third of the properties would have been affordable - any profits it made from the project would have been funnelled back into affordable housing projects.

Alan Johnson, A2Dominion’s Executive Director, said: “Our proposals were intended to assist the regeneration of the area and to promote the establishment of a thriving mixed-use sustainable community.

“We were disappointed that the planning application was not granted approval. However, we are now reviewing our options before deciding what the next step forward may be.”

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