Golden Mile gets another name on the List

Former Beechams HQ Listing puts development in doubt

One of the largest buildings on the 'Golden Mile' section of the A4 has been listed, throwing the future of the site into doubt.

The Willis House building on the A4 has been empty for two years. Owned by Glaxo Smith Kline its main role today lies in providing overspill car parking for the new GSK headquarters half a mile away. Originally opened in 1936 as a parts maufacturing plant for aircraft it was taken over by Beechams in 1954.

English Heritage recommended the building for listing earlier this year, citing the excellent Deco frontage and the decorations applied to the windowframes and doorways. The listing includes the iron fencing around the site, now covered by hoardings.

The site was expected to be developed for housing but the listing may put this in doubt. The building is very close to the A4 and the elevated M4, with a large empty area - the car park - to the rear. Ironically the site is opposite the famous illuminated Lucozade sign which is under threat.

The listing of Willis House and the declaration of a Conservation Area may mean that TW8 has seen its last large housing development. The rapid increase in house prices seems to have stalled in the area, as revealed by the latest property statistics.

15 Nov 2003

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