Friday, 18 February 2011

Shepherd's Bush Market: 270 flats and no more Goldhawk historic terrace

Over a thousand people will be moving in, or should I say on, to Shepherd’s Bush Market as it is redeveloped by Orion according to the displays currently on view at the old Shepherd’s Bush Library building on Uxbridge Road. The exhibition lasts until the end of the weekend.

As you can see from the pics the Market is set to change, and change radically. But the most surprising news for me is the apparent caving in of the owners of the Goldhawk Road Terrace of historic buildings who had seemed so dead-set against the idea of their buildings being demolished and rebuilt that they wrung a commitment out of Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh at this meeting late last year to stop Orion in their tracks. I understand from Orion that most of the tenants have in fact now asked to be re-housed or bought out.

So it seems the fabled third entrance from Goldhawk Road (see above) is upon us, as is a vastly increased market space with some interesting and exciting new zones. For example there are to be wide seating and entertainment spaces including an outdoor square for the now resident neighbour Bush Theatre to use for performances. Hours look like being extended too with late night opening for food to cater for the post pub trade and many more trading sites that is currently the case.

The downside for me is the fact that in order to make their money Orion are going to stack no less than seven storeys of flats on top of the Market, alongside a row of “mews houses” backing onto Pennard Road which together will add well over a thousand new Bush residents who will live literally right on top of both each other and the Market itself, the majority of which will be underneath the housing.

And there are to be just 40 new parking spaces, although intriguingly Chris Horn of Orion tells me that no new resident will be entitled to a parking permit for the surrounding roads, the idea being to stop them having cars at all and rely entirely on public transport. In my humble opinion that is more than a little unrealistic.

And what of the traders concern that customers need parking? Well Orion claim that their research indicates that only 4% of current customers use cars. So no more parking for anyone.

Chris Horn, speaking to me at the exhibition said of the reaction thus far: “it’s been overwhelmingly positive. People have said that if they could get a wider range of things they would use this market more often. If you can get stuff here that you can get at Portobello Road then they will come here instead”

Orion feel “close to an accommodation” with the traders which, if true, marks a seismic shift from the sort of divisions that were laid bare at the public meeting, in the same venue, last December.

Orion need to submit a formal planning application by this summer and by then they need to decide once and for all whether the destruction of the historic terrace on Goldhawk Road, once the subject of a die-in-the-ditches fight but now apparently inevitable, is part of that plan. But from what I heard today it will be. Here’s Chris Horn again: “The majority see an opportunity to get new premises and a new trading position. All the evidence is that this market is declining with reduced numbers of customers. People like the idea of new shop fronts in keeping with the character of Shepherd’s Bush”

Well from what I saw it fundamentally changes the character of Shepherd’s Bush with a huge building rising way above the current set up and relegating the Market to being a basement. Or you could say it’s bringing new people in, which isn’t a bad thing on its own, and much needed investment to a Market which let’s face it does come across as badly in need of more than a lick of paint.

What’s also clear to me, although no-one at Orion said this directly, is that they have cottoned on to the fact that keeping our Council with their reputation and penchant for bashing residents into submission at arm’s length has paid dividends in terms of turning vehement opposition into what looks now like active co-operation.

Or am I speaking too soon?

SATURDAY UPDATE: It seems I was. The traders of the historic terrace have been in touch to say they are adamantly not part of this plan and will fight it in the courts. Here's Aniza Meghani who runs one of the shops: "City Law Firm WEBSTER DIXON LLP are acting on behalf of the Goldhawk Road shopkeepers. We would like to inform you all, that we still DO NOT WISH TO BE DEMOLISHED.WE ARE VERY MUCH A UNITED ROW OF SHOPKEEPERS"

So it seems omce again in H&F planning folklore we're headed for the courts. The traders have applied to the courts to have the plans withdrawn. Watch this space.


  1. Parking? - no problems. Just go to and get your fake blue badge - simples!

  2. Cookes Pie and Mash has been on these premises since 1934 (established 1899). Do not want to leave and are standing strong with the other shop traders. Plesae support us on Twitter: ShepherdsBushAG

  3. To be frank, while I appreciate the terrace of shops along Goldhawk Road have historic importance, this is almostly completely negated by the fact they are nearly all run down and have not been maintained.

    As of now the only building there with any real value is the Cookes Pie and Mash shop which should be saved. For the remainder of the terrace to be saved, the landlords of the property should agree to refurbish the property.

    The significant number of flats on top of the market will need to be tolerated, otherwise we will need to wait for TfL to refurbish the market which we all know will never happen. With regards to the lack of parking spaces, wouldn't you rather that the scare space was used for housing and amenities rather than parking places? Also with the state of traffic in London and Shepherd's Bush, usage of public transport should be encouraged and there is plenty of it near the market.

    It would be good if the Council could use their strong arm tactics to replace some of the bookies on Goldhawk road with the displaced shops.

  4. Yes Goldhawk Terrace should be restored. But this should be done as part of the redevelopment of the market. The flats could be built behind the shops and the terrace restored at the same time. Just because buildings are in a bad state of repair does not mean they should be demolished. Please go to our Facebook page 'Save 30-52 Goldhawk Road' and look at the photos there. You will see what the terrace looked like at the turn of c.20 and examples of shops on Whitechapel High Street which have have been recently restored. (At not huge expense.) I think it is also worth pointing out the the proposed flats are not of the human scale that 30-52 Goldhawk represent. If the new flats were stepped back behind the (restored) terrace we would still have a sense of the charm and scale of these nineteenth century shops. I think we could then have a win win solution. I strongly believe that this huge property development is being dressed up as the redevelopment of the market when in fact it is being driven by Orion's desire to build "luxury" flats. This new block will dominate this stretch of the Goldhawk Road. The new shops which will front the Goldhawk Road will, in my opinion, feel squashed underneath. All context and history will be lost.

  5. OK but the owner of Cooke's Pie and Mash Shop is quoted by our Council thus:

    Mike Boughton, 59, owns the famous A Cooke's Pie and Mash Shop on Goldhawk Road and said: "I have been here for 41 years and the business has been here for 111 years. I hope to keep the business running in new premises on Goldhawk Road and we are talking to OSBL about how that can be achieved."

    So hardly "standing strong with the other shop traders" as the first commenter claims

    1. We do not want to move from our current location at 48 Goldhawk Road. We are standing strong with the other shopkeepers. We do not want to be located anywhere else other than Shepherd's Bush. The reality is that the Council solicited these developers. We have never been part of the market and Orion would only deal with the Council on the market if they would demolish 30-52 Goldhawk Road. The press office from the Council are also saying that shopkeepers are in talks with Orion. Not true.

  6. chris, just because a building may look poor in appearance, it doesn't mean it is not structurally strong. The shops have have been providing service with great pride and joy. it simply needs to be restored.

  7. I agree Coll, the ideal solution would be the renovation of the terrace with the new market behind it.
    Where are the freehold owners of the terrace in all of this? Can they explain their lack of maintenance for the last few decades? I don't Orion will be interested in renovating buildings that are to be privately owned afterwards.

  8. Three thumbs up to redeveloping Shepherds Bush Market. More space for traders and longer hours, modern properties for commercial tenants, and residential properties without Victorian squalor. Welcome to the 21st century.

    Parking for 15% of residents sounds modest, but with two tube lines on your doorstep, who would splurge on owning a car?

  9. I agree with Coll, it just needs renovation. This whole business that the buildings lack maintenance only came about, because this council felt it looked out of character, so as to pursue a development. What everyone fails to understand, is that for decades, it hasn't bothered anyone , but when a council makes an issue, it suddenly gets noticed. NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER, BUT PERHAPS LETS LOOK AT THE REAL MOTIVE OF WHAT THE COUNCIL, REALLY, REALLY, WANTS......MORE TAXES!

  10. i think the hammersmith bourgh should pay these all shopkeeper handsame amount and get rid of all the hassel????????