|Pie & Mash for Ken|
Over a plate of pie n mash, what else, at Cookes' Pie & Mash shop which has stood on the site for the best part of a century, Livingstone insisted to me that "distinctive parts of London" should be preserved. He decried the plans to demolish the row of shops and suspected that the personal relationships were at work between the men at the top of our Council and Orion the developers - why else, he asked, would the Council have changed their procedures to accommodate Orion?
|Ken chats to Traders|
One of the owners of the Pie & Mash shop explained to Mr Livingstone, and Andy Slaughter who had made the visit with Ken, that the shop had been in her family since 1934 and she saw no reason why they should be evicted, and made to move into to what the developers call "improved" premises. Mr Livingstone sympathised but said that as a candidate he could not make pronouncements one way or the other over every planning decision before becoming Mayor if he won the election. He had to be fair, he said, before cheekily adding "but you can make a guess about where my instincts are going to be"
|How the Council & Developers Orion want Goldhawk Rd to look - minus the shops|
Legal battles have already started in the court with the market traders and shop owners already having won a judicial review of the plans, which would see the current market placed underneath seven floors of luxury flats. There are no buildings of comparable size anywhere around, so the new tower would dominate both the market and its surrounding area.
Despite some wobbles in their campaign, the shopkeepers of the Goldhawk Road have already proved themselves to be formidable opponents to our Council and Orion. And we saw with the ruling on Shepherd's Bush Green recently that the Council can be forced to curtail at least some of it's excesses in court. So perhaps this unique corner of the Bush isn't doomed just yet.
Time will tell.