‘Octopus’ plans rejected in Chiswick

Plans have been rejected for a futuristic office building in Chiswick.

The building, known as the ‘Octopus’ has been turned down due to it being too distracting to drivers, causing chaos on the roads. It was planned to sit on the Chiswick Roundabout, next to the M4 – a very busy junction. The proposed 170 ft building was designed by Ken Shuttleworth, the architect famous for designing the Gherkin. It was to be five storeys high and contain 25,000 sq ft of much needed office space in the area.

The developers, London & Bath had planned to use one side of the building for electronic advertising, which could have generated hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue. The advertising plans were what lost the Octopus its planning permission however. Councillors felt that having large moving images so close to a busy junction would be dangerous and distracting to drivers in an already hectic junction. “It’s a brilliant concept apart from the advertising. It’s too dangerous to put up hi-tech advertising in your face when you’re driving along the elevated section of the M4 because. You really need your wits about you and the fewer distractions the better,” said councillor Sheila O’Reilly.

Managing director of London & Bath, Kim Gottlieb commented on the decision, “Safety is a serious issue and we provided expert evidence to show this wasn’t a problem.

“We don’t blame the councillors for making the decision but feel they were misled by officer, who failed to look at things in an objective and impartial manner.”

The decision may have been influenced by a previous incident involving advertising on the Chiswick Roundabout. Back in 2006 Pretty Polly had a very distracting billboard ad featuring a scantily-clad model, which led to a barrage of complaints.

It is a shame to see planning permission turned down over such matters, as new developments are sorely needed in London to meet sky-rocketing demands for office space. However it is hoped that the developers will revise their plans and apply for planning again, without the advertising.