Imperial College London last week revealed their masterplan for the southern section of their new campus in White City.
The site, which is located south of the Westway, next to Wood Lane and the White City underground station, is the second aspect of Imperial White City – the new campus, which covers a 23-acre site. The cost of the development is expected to total between £2 to £3 billion.
The masterplan, which has been submitted to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), comes following a year-long consultation with businesses and local residents.
The southern site will include a number of new features, including a hotel, retail space, and new houses. It will also feature connections between the two sides of the campus, including a new land bridge over the Central Line railway tracks.
Up to 370 homes will be built on the site, in two buildings of 17 and 32 stories, the latter of which already has planning permission. A portion of the houses will be provided at below-market rates to Imperial key workers, who include early career researchers and Imperial NHS staff.
There are also plans to build a 9,000m2 hotel, with up to 150 bedrooms, and provide 13,500m2 of space for retail, leisure, and food and drink outlets.
The majority of the space will be used for research and business space: 178,000m2 will be dedicated to both College research projects, and businesses who “help translate this work into commercial applications which benefit society”.
Professor Neil Alford, Associate Provost (Academic Planning), said the campus was “an exciting new chapter in the College’s history”. He said the masterplan “represents a long term commitment to the White City community.”
Imperial College first bought land in White City in 2009, and the northern site has been under construction since 2012. The Molecular Sciences Research Hub, which is due to open in 2018, will provide the new home for the Department of Chemistry.
Chemistry students are due to make the move over the coming year. One chemistry undergraduate who spoke to Felix said: “the new equipment and buildings might be nice, but it’s so far away, which is inconvenient, not only for travel and associated costs, but because I won’t be able to get back to where everyone else is based. Research placements this summer are also affected, since the research groups don’t have time given the move.”
Concerns have previously been raised by a number of local residents, centring around the 35-storey tower which dominates the north portion of the site. The St. Helen’s Residents’ Association in North Kensington have accused the College of acting like an “aggressive property developer when it comes to the planning and design of its buildings, and their impacts on their neighbours.”