Following the controversial architectural development of Mission Hall in 2018, campaigners ‘Keep Brackenbury Residential’ are now petitioning against the extension of office hours of the building.

Despite a majority vote against initial planning to refurbish Mission Hall with a basement in 2018, locals are now rallying against the recent news to extend the office hours of the building from 6:30am to 11pm. Situated between Iffley and Tabor Road in Brackenbury, campaigners have noted the disastrous effects that the planning will have on the local area, such as an influx of couriers well into the night, disturbing peace by delivering food and supplies to the office; decreasing available parking area; and finally exacerbating the amount of traffic, contributing to noise, light and air pollution of the residential area. 

Andy Taylor, a campaigner against the new timings, has called for support from locals. “The importance of community has never been more understood than over the last year.” Aside from the aforementioned issues, he also notes the poor maintenance of the building in 2018: “I’m afraid the refurbishment has been completed as cheaply as possible by the developers. When Historic England listed the building they made note of the importance of the original wooden floor. This was allowed to rot by the developers so that they could replace it with a modern one.” Taylor ultimately regards the objection “not about the money spent, [but] about the right of local residents’ wellbeing.”

Others, however, have also noted the possible improvements that the new office hours could bring to the local area. Jacqui O’Connell, a resident of Brackenbury Village, suggests the positives of “having office space on your doorstep so you don’t have to drive. Eco footprint tick.” She also notes the “community vibe” and the economic benefits for businesses following lockdown. 

Though Andy Taylor acknowledges these, it is ultimately the “negatives [that] outweigh the positives.” He continues: “The concern with this office, in the middle of a residential area away from public transport, is that people will be more inclined to drive to use it. I’m afraid that this is a commercial venture, run by the developer for profit.” Prolonging the open hours of the office may therefore augment these complaints greatly.

Estimated to soon hold over 75 workers at a time, ‘Keep Brackenbury Residential’ are not only worried about the atmosphere of the area, but also whether there is a need for the office in the first place, as many employees have been successfully working from home during lockdown last year. Though it’s no secret that this home-working environment was an impetus for demotivation of workers, several alternatives for public offices are also available nearby, such as many buildings in Hammersmith’s commercial area, only a short distance from Brackenbury itself.

It’s clear that this is a contentious local issue, but with so many residents banding together in such a short time, the bid for expansion of office hours in Brackenbury has certainly been a catalyst for a strengthened community and united front. 

You can find 'Keep Brackenbury Residential' at: