Here’s to a change of scenery

Something is afoot in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush, and it only takes a brisk winter walk to illustrate the changes happening around the area.

Hoardings abound, scaffolding is sprouting up like weeds and white vans are as common as buses. No matter where you look, something is being knocked down, something new built and there’s a real buzz in the air.

Is this progress? For many, the answer is yes. But the residents near some of the borough’s larger developments have cried foul.

Those near Hammersmith Town Hall waged an effective campaign to cut the high-rise town hall scheme down to size.

And while the cinema next door will be demolished, the upside is the thought of a new Curzon cinema within the town hall scheme which has set tongues wagging (pictured below).

Head down the river and residents are in the midst of a battle with an even bigger scheme with flats due to replace a large swathe of buildings just south of Hammersmith Bridge.

But whatever happens near the Riverside Studios site, the one consolation is that the riverside path will for the first time run all the way down the river without interruption. And once Craven Cottage’s facelift and extra seats are installed, you’ll be able to walk all the way to south Fulham – which will surely be faster than driving down Fulham Palace Road!

Closer to home, it’s remarkable to see work beginning across the street from Ravenscourt Park at London House in King Street.

And with construction at St Peter’s Place at the end of King Street dragging on and on, it’s at least nice to see the work around Kings Mall taking shape with the new H&M already proving hugely popular.

Meanwhile, with 10 Hammersmith Grove finished, attention now turns to Number 12 and the new-look entrance and frontage to the Hammersmith & City line station coming next year.

As for Shepherds Bush, the big winner for locals is the second phase of Westfield.

Not only has the dream of a John Lewis department store arrived (well, my wife’s dream at least), the addition of 6,700 new jobs and flats, along with the BBC development scheme, should ensure house prices remain buoyant and the area’s transformation continues to creep north of Uxbridge Road.

Along with this big change there are also smaller schemes happening along Goldhawk Road – from the old car wash and the new Sainsbury’s near Goldhawk Road station, to the new Ashchurch Park Villas and the former Carpetright plot near Starch Green – this is an amazingly exciting and busy time in the borough.

More importantly, all of this attention, investment, transition and change across the borough is truly fantastic at generating interest in the area.

So if you’re a homeowner and/or landlord, it’s certainly a great time to feel a wee bit smug that house prices have jumped almost 20 per cent this year.

And if that motivates you to put your home on the market – you know who to call first!