Boris Johnson to commission review of Hammersmith scheme, examining the impact of reducing its height

London mayor Boris Johnson is to commission an independent review of Sheppard Robson’s controversial designs for a 14-storey, mixed-use scheme in Hammersmith.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) confirmed the review will examine the financial impact of further reducing the project’s height.

The news follows Hammersmith & Fulham council’s decision before Christmas to withdraw the plans for the King Street Regeneration scheme from consideration by Johnson, after he indicated it was too high for the site.

A source close to the scheme said the decision meant that it “will just be pushed into the long grass until after the [May 2012] mayoral election.”

The proposed development, a joint venture between developers Grainger and Helical Bar in conjunction with the council, has met opposition from local figures including actors Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave, who say it will ruin the borough’s historic Thames waterfront.

In a statement the council said it has agreed to work with the GLA on the independent assessment.

A spokesperson said this will examine whether the scheme’s height can be reduced without making it uneconomic to build. A review by PwC in November last year, commissioned by the council, found developers were already taking a lower than usual margin given the risks associated with the scheme.

The King Street plan has already been reduced in height and bulk once in response to complaints from residents.

Johnson welcomed the withdrawal of the scheme saying he was “glad that common sense has prevailed” while former mayor Ken Livingstone called the proposed development “monstrous”.