Thursday, 3 November 2011

Market Traders publish set of demands

Market Traders have published their latest set of concerns and demands over our Council's plans to allow developers Orion to build seven floors of luxury flats on top of the Market, and the document is published in full below. Many thanks to them for sending it to me. (Click on "view in full screen" - 1st button on left at the bottom for ease of reading)

What shines through in almost every point they make is the complete absence of any trust between either the traders and the property developers - which is to be expected, but also now between the traders and their own Council. That is perhaps due to Cllr Greenhalgh's broken promise over the Goldhawk Block row of shops, which some of the traders feel is emblematic of how the Council has dealt with them.

This set of concerns follows those published by the residents living in the streets around the Market, notably Pennard and Goldhawk Road, which I published here.

In short the Traders fear being priced out by rent hikes and are angry at a 'divide and rule' approach to the compensation on offer to some but not all traders for the disruption to their livelihoods while the Market is knocked down and rebuilt, and then the luxury flats are built on top of them. Orion's proposal to rename part of the Market "crook", I think, speaks loudest of all.

SBMTA's Concerns Regarding Orion's Planning Application (1)


  1. Chris, I'm an avid follower of your blog because it is so informative, well written & moderate.

    But on this one issue I do feel that you are being uncharacteristically biased. Yes, some tradespeople will be very inconvenienced & you can't please everyone, but I go down the market and many of them have told me they want it to go ahead so long as they don't lose trade.

    I don't remember reading anything from you about the positive side of a regeneration. I have lived very near the market for 30 years. Absolutely everyone I know is utterly fed-up with it. At the consultations in the Library that I went to, most people there were clearly in favour with positive thoughts of their own about how best to do it. Your preceding article illustrates one reason why - and I hope the irony is not lost on you.

    I am no friend of Orion. But to say they want 'to build seven floors of luxury flats on top of the Market' is a bit misleading. The flats will not remove any area of the market at all. They will be built next to the market & in one small part occupy floors above.

    As a tenant & small businessman I understand the worries about change, but we need the affordable housing that is part of the deal. Furthermore the offer of improving business conditions beyond measure while excluding no trader and with no rent rise for at least 3 years afterwards makes me green with envy. What an amazing opportunity that is.

    Council procedure is another matter. Why be so totally negative about something that could improve life for so many people? It's not exactly a beauty-spot.

  2. I totally agree with you brettsinclair, if the market stays as it is, it will be inevitable that it will close due to lack of footfall. The market is crying out for renovation, but that's never going to happen without some change.

    The constant debate that the row of shops along Goldhawk Road are historic is frankly starting to annoy me. They are currently an eyesore with the pie shop being the only exception. If the owners of these building really don't want them knocked down, then it's time for them to put their money where their mouth is and renovate them.

    Chris, what do you suggest as an alternative? I'd like to hear some alternatives instead of just damning proposals.

  3. Thank you Sourav - I was beginning to think that there was some form of censorship going on!

    I know there are thousands of residents like me who are fully in support of the plans who can't wait to have a pleasant market to look at, walk around & spend money in. I know because I talk to them every day. We want a market to be proud of, not ashamed about.

    But somehow a bogus 'preservation' argument on behalf of a tiny number of complacent business people operating out of premises they clearly haven't ever cared for (Cook's excepted) is being amplified, for political & unimaginative commercial ends one suspects.

    Of course you are right. If this regeneration does not happen, the market will be closed within ten years through lack of footfall, if not because of hygiene, safety & crime concerns.

    It will be closed anyway, demolished & sold for development if this regeneration doesn't happen. It's obvious.

  4. For the overwhelming silent majority:

    If you wan't to have a market to be proud of, rather than see it closed in a few years, send a message of support for the MARKET REGENERATION to the planning people now (deadline closes soon).

    It's quick & easy to do here:

  5. There seems to be an underlying assumption that any local group - traders or residents - has a right to block new developments. Whilst it is clearly incumbent on the Council to listen to such groups, the Council also has the duty to balance all the interests concerned, at least one of which is the chronic failure to build new houses in this country.

    I would add that the market is quite shabby and needs at least some updating imho.

  6. Building houses is all well and good, but what we need in this borough are good quality council houses, not "luxury" flats for the pampered few.

  7. Define 'luxury'. The average area per flat is under 1,000 sq. ft. if my arithmetic is accurate. Hardly Nero's palace. Do you really think the oligarchs say, as they look out of the window in the morning, yes, that's nice, but if I play my cards right, I could be living over Shepherd's Bush Market?