Saturday, 11 February 2012

Mod Bush: Fight to save Cooke's Pie & Mash

The Mods come to Goldhawk Rd - the Bush isn't defeated
The 1960s returned to W12 this Saturday afternoon as dozens of scooters stood gleaming in the winter sun outside a Bush icon - Cooke's Pie & Mash at the Market. Just a day after the Standard ran a piece on the essential place this corner of West London holds in modern British culture, legions of two wheeled warriors roared down the Goldhawk Road to let our Council know that the fight is very much not over.

H&F Council, fresh from ignoring residents once again at the infamous planning committee, have been pushing press releases out alongside property developers Orion declaring that it's all systems go for the demolishing of these much loved buildings lining the Goldhawk, some of whom have been in the same family since before 1900.

Historic Bush buildings - and their Mod defenders
This ignores the inconvenient fact that a court hearing in mid may plus the small matter of a possible change of Mayor would put the kaybosh on this scheme, aimed at making millions for property developers, just as surely as the Council's last attempt to ignore local people over King Street, Hammersmith.

In fact let's compare our Council's response to any kind of local residents campaign in, say, Fulham in the South of our Borough - to anywhere north of Hammersmith.

Down in Fulham they don't particularly want the disruption and building works that will accompany the Thames Water Super Sewer - and our Council lines up behind them enthusiastically. Nor are there any property development planning schemes in Fulham being pursued where there is large scale opposition.

Just look at how Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh (pictured below) thunders from the pulpit about how residents MUST be listened to before a planning decision that will blight the area is made. So he can do it - but only in Fulham it seems.

Greenhalgh puts Residents First - if they live in Fulham
In the North of the Borough, by contrast, we have numerous schemes which completely ignore residents wishes - Bush Market, West Ken, King Street and Ashcurch Grove to name but a few. Could this be at all connected with the fact that the ruling councillors who run H&F all live in Fulham and not in the north of the Borough?

Surely not.

TUESDAY UPDATE - Well, as the local debate seems to be getting fired up in the comments to this article a petition has been launched by the owners of Cooke's Pie & Mash which you can view and sign here. Meanwhile, the local press have still yet to report anything on either the Mod invasion of Saturday or the subsequent debate.


  1. Having heard one council officer talking to a colleague at Fulham Town Hall in December, that the Market Scheme was a "shoe in", I am not remotely surprised by the decision!

    Urban Dictionary - Shoe in - noun - a no brainer, a give me, goes without saying, obvious, for certain.

  2. Also spelt 'shoo in'. The converse of 'shoo away'.
    Originally referred to a racehorse which only required minimum urging to finish first. Now relates to anything or anybody that is a foregone conclusion to win.

  3. But they are not "much loved buildings". They are completely ordinary small Victorian shop fronts whose decoration fell off years ago. Lots of people - me included - welcome improving Shepherd's Bush Market. Not all developers are evil and not all development is bad.

    1. Agreed that they are pretty nondescript now, as those decorative bits were removed at the order of the council, I believe, some years ago. It would have been better if they had been properly restored.

      But the development is a gross over-development and completely out of character with the area.

      And I'm not at all sure how they can find some suitable local premises for the traders to continue to trade in the immediate vicinity. Not to mention compensate them all properly (not just adequately!).


    2. When the current economic climate has led to the call for support for small and medium sized businesses, this process seems to fly in the face of government policy.

      Plus, the buildings may be "ordinary small Victorian shop fronts" but so are a great deal of London's high streets. Should we just knock them all down?

      "Not much loved" - totally subjective. I expect that the people who have built up businesses in these buildings are pretty fond of them.

    3. But no-one is saying these business must cease to exist are they? Just that they can exist in new premises.

  4. LBH&F's opposition to the Thames Water Super Sewer Tunnel in the south of the borough, as referenced above, is all the more strange given that LBH&F are allowing Thames Water to drill a bore hole related to the tunnel on land owned by the authority in the north of the borough.

    Without any apparent consultation with the residents of the council properties adjacent to the bore hole site (it's part of the green amenity space on the estate).

    Something "funny" afoot there, methinks.


  5. Let's face it, this is a business negotiation about compensation.

    I think the real issue about the market is that some people don't want Shepherd's Bush to improve, to become more 'desirable'.

    They just don't want the status-quo to change.

    It might be politically inconvenient, but as a central prime area of West London Shepherd's Bush offers unbelievable potential to investors & unimagined prosperity to residents & business. That fact isn't going to go away, no matter how much you might want it to. You can't stop it. So why not engage with it?

  6. I agree with the post above.
    Change is inevitable, otherwise the market would be still be successful instead of being in decline.
    As a resident of the Bush I want the local market to survive as it adds a lot to the area, so the key here it to engage instead of just dismissing improvements to the area.

  7. Yes. If you are lucky enough to own a home or business in Shepherds Bush you are looking at opportunity and regeneration that is probably going to result in a life-changing increase in the value of your property.

    It is a no-brainer.

  8. The problem is, for those who don't own their own homes and are at the poorer end of the private renting sector, as Shepherds Bush becomes more 'desirable' they will be forced out. Greedy landlords will up their rent as the rich descend in greater numbers upon Bush and those who can't keep up will have to pack up their bags and look elsewhere for somewhere to live.

  9. Hmm. I'm already paying £18,000 per year rent in a small flat outside the Bush. "More desirable" would definitely force me out, and I've got a fairly good income.

    Did anyone see Friday's episode of Hustle? The mark was a property developer who aquires land by paying back-handers to local councils. I found it very funny indeed...

  10. Now we are getting to the real debate.

    If you are lucky enough to own a home or business in Shepherds Bush the 'area of opportunity' is exactly that. Congratulations, you are about to be handed a good lottery win. As the area gets more prosperous, you are likely to get considerably better off.

    You might be able to retire earlier, pay off your mortgage sooner, move somewhere bigger & greener, have a better life with more in the bank and probably be happier.

    But some people are telling you this is not good for you. That you should reject that winning lottery ticket, because regeneration & development is evil.

    Why are they saying that?

    A few business are negotiating for better compensation because they have to move to newly-built premises. They should get that.

    But others are using this issue. They cannot credit architects & developers as being creative, inventive, professional people who have the vision and skill to see how things can be improved. They need to make simplistic denouncements that they are dishonest, two-bit cowboys who are 'corrupt'.

    Perhaps they say this because as the area is developed & regenerated and the shops get more prosperous, when the Market is thriving and when Shepherd's Bush is more 'desirable', your property, business or your market pitch will perhaps be a lot more valuable than it is now. You might come to think of yourself as a lot richer.

    They think you could change your voting habits.

    Your future prosperity in Shepherd's Bush doesn't suit them at all. They want you to reject it. As unrealistic as it is, they want things to stay exactly as they are.

    1. Perhaps is the operative word there. When Westfield opened, we were promised all this stuff about increases in property value and prosperity for the area etc but in the last quarter house prices have actually fallen - not widely reported though.

    2. @ AnonymousFeb 13, 2012 10:06 AM

      Your comments are nothing more than an appeal for avarice.

      And what, exactly, have voting habits got to do with it?

      And in the meantime, you'll all suffer from planning blight and the misery of a major redevelopment on your doorsteps, with all that entails. And the end result of all that? Some quick tat put up to maximise profits for someone else.

    3. Come to that, the historic Goldhawk Road shops and the market itself were just quick tat put up to maximise profits originally. Just give it a few years and you'll be campaigning to preserve the historic luxury flats put up in 2013.

    4. Exactly right. The entire area was built by profit-seeking developers.

    5. RE: @ AnonymousFeb 13, 2012 10:06 AM
      "Your comments are nothing more than an appeal for avarice."

      So if I want the area I live in to be smartened up and the home I work for to increase in value, you say I am guilty of 'avarice'??

      So you are saying that it's evil.

      The theory is right then.

  11. But having "well-off" areas which people can't afford to live in is hardly moving to narrow the class divide, is it?

    It really is social cleansing on the part of the council.

  12. Can we dispense with this mythology about this being about 'regenerating the market'. This is spin from Orion and H&F Council. This is about making millions of pounds profit for a dubious property developer (funnily enough they were given this on a plate - no competitive tenders took place). The market needs are completely peripheral to making money. No social housing is planned despite alleged council quotas and if you get in the way - like a one hundred year old family business that isn't even part of the market! - then, frankly, we'll just force you out of business and bulldoze your premises.

  13. Misuse of compulsory purchase!

  14. I have to take issue with the "creative developers" post mentioned earlier. What's creative about the hideous 7-9 storey luxury flats? Have you seen the plans and the models? A veritable monstrosity, not in keeping with the area whatsoever. The poor people of Pennard Road, Pennard Mansions, Goldhawk Road and Gainsborough Court will be dwarfed by these dwellings, not to mention their loss of light.
    Why did residents not get the chance to see what other companies could offer? Reason - there were no other companies involved.

    If you want to learn what Orion is really up to, check out:


    which will make you wonder why H&F Council could even touch them with a barge pole.

    Interestingly, Chris Horn, the director of Orion Shepherds Bush, came from Southwark Council where he was head of Regeneration. Is it coincidence that our own H&F leader is stepping down to concentrate on the White City Opportunity(!) Area which Orion will be pitching for. Who mentioned last week's The Hustle? Often life is stranger than fiction...

    1. The flats will not be hideous in my opinion. They have been designed in a way that will not impose. All the pictures shown are from above, but when you are on the ground you won't see the top floors because they are stepped back.

      The market development of the past is now hideous because it has been allowed to deteriorate. The market area as it is now is a blight that is ruining the area.

      I want to see a clean, bright market that is thriving. I don't want to see litter, graffiti and badly deteriorating commercial property near my home.

      Decay is reducing the value of the surrounding properties.

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with what I want. They are normal things that people everywhere want to see. And yet people are trying to tell me that I am avaricious.

      No I am not. I just want to live somewhere that looks and feels half civilised, where my family can shop in the market without feeling intimidated and where there is some hope of my own hard work and investment in my home paying off.

      Good luck to the shops. But I don't want to pay the price of others' neglect.

    2. "The market development of the past is now hideous because it has been allowed to deteriorate." They are railway arches and stalls for gawd's sake and never were a thing of beauty and a joy to behold! But they served a purpose that some say that they no longer do - Orion might actually do something quite good in design terms for the market, but it should not be at the cost of the shop traders around the corner in a different area.

  15. If you think the design is hideous personally that makes me think you have luddite aesthetic taste in architecture.

  16. Why should regeneration of the market mean tearing down what are not just local businesses but pieces of local history (as this very blog article should demonstrate)? And what exactly are a block of "luxury" flats going to bring to things?

    It's got sod all to do with the market and everything to do with lovely profits. And an appeal to house prices is pretty low - house prices hardly need to go up any more, do they? Low earners in the borough are already pretty screwed, save for housing benefit.

  17. An appeal to house prices is not 'pretty low'.

    There is nothing low about it at all. It's something that people everywhere take very seriously because they are investing in their own future.

    People work for years on end to pay for their homes. They want it to be worthwhile.

    They don't want it wasted.

  18. Seems like the Daily Fail wants to have it's voice heard on house prices in the area.

  19. Some people will never be able to own their own home thanks to spiralling prices, low wages and high rents, specially in this borough. These are the people who will end up priced out and forced to move.

    Besides that point, I don't think anyone is against regeneration - just against needless cultural vandalism.

  20. Why are so many comments anonymous on such a controversial story? Intrigued. Or not. Come on people, front up so we know who you are and what your vested interest is. Only the cowardly post anonymously.

    As a lifetime dweller in W12, I've welcomed some of the regeneration. SOME. Not all. Westfield brought transport infrastructure on the overground and a new H&C station. I use the overground loads. Westfield less so. It also paid for the new work to the bush green that's about to finally happen after years of delays. It changed the view of the area, brought jobs. Yes it screwed the traffic at Christmas but overall it has benefited the area.

    Putting up 7-9 stories of flats with no infrastructure, no public housing and little discernible benefit is not the kind of regeneration I want. Letting developers change the character of areas with carte blanche is not the policy I want from my council. Even if it means the theoretical value of my flat doesn't go up as much as it would. It's not money I want. I'm here long term and want a liveable borough, not a rich one.

    It makes me suspect that the accusations of gerrymandering on a grander scale than Westminster might have something to them. It's no coincidence the poorest wards are the most ripe for redevelopment, but why is the council so keen on high intensity private housing? Everywhere. Even at the expense of local jobs... Innocent, a local firm employing local people started by local lads (Latymerians) was forced to move out the borough to allow a developer to redevelop the business park. Where's the benefit in that to local people? Fewer jobs, higher intensity population, no new local infrastructure or green space.

    In one of the most populated boroughs in the country put simply when is enough, enough? How can LBHF scaremonger about Furnival Gardens and then propose plans that destroy half of it themselves?

    I've lived here 35 years. I love the place. But there is a danger that the area will change beyond all recognition thanks to this council. It seems that they are willing to put their long term political future ahead of the needs of the local population. That can't be right.


    1. Only the cowardly post anonymously??? You're a real hero, "JimF".

    2. I don't think so - at least identify yourself with an alias. I find it hard to take people seriously when they hide behind anonymity and then post all sorts of strident comments. Brave people.

    3. @ Anonymous Feb 15, 2012 03:41 AM
      'Only the cowardly post anonymously??? You're a real hero, "JimF".'

      That, coming from Anonymous, is quite hilarious.

      If you don't know who JimF is, do you know anything about the Bush?

      For the record, I post using Anon because my Google Account is kept very private, I don't have any of the other options, and it would be inappropriate to use a Name/URL as it's a charity (not in the Bush).

      But I usually put my name at the end, when I remember. And I do care about the Bush, because
      a) I was born there, a few hundred yards from the market;
      b) My mum still lives there;
      c) I visit regularly.



    4. This is the thing isn't it? The fact that there is no public housing whatsoever in the new block speaks volumes on how the local authority and developers view the poorest in our society - a drain on resources and nothing more.

      The developers don't want to cater for those who rely on social housing as it's less money in their pocket for one or more of their yuppie hutches and the local authority don't want them around as they represent more money to pay out in Housing Benefit. Sickening.

    5. Amazingly, despite 18 years living in Shepherd's Bush, I remain completely ignorant of the identity and heroic feats of JimF. I think it entirely possible I shall spend the next 18 years in the same state of deplorable ignorance. My loss!

      PS My mum lives in Shepherd's Bush too.

    6. Amazingly, despite my 59 years experience of the Bush, I don't know of any such heroic acts either. But then no one ever claimed any such thing.

      But you still choose to remain completely anonymous whilst criticising someone named (at least identifiably).

      Do you have any thoughts on the actual issue, or are you just posting random attacks anonymously?

      We can't tell.

      Or do you have some sort of financial interest in the proposed development? Just a thought. :)


    7. I don't know who this mysterious "JimF" is either, but I do think he should have a regular column somewhere...

    8. JimF and Mike might be identifiable by their mothers and close friends, but not by most readers of this blog. I fail to see how that makes them any different from any other anonymous poster. So it's a bit rich to criticise others for posting anonymously when you're anonymous yourself. Indeed "Mike" listed the - perfectly good, I thought - reasons why he posts anonymously. So why the fuss? "Random attacks" makes it sound like I'm running around mugging people, not teasing pompous commenters on local blogs.

      For the record, when I comment on other blogs which do not allow anonymous posting, I do so as:


      PS I like the proposed redevelopment, although it's a bit on the large side. It won't make me a penny.

    9. Fair enough, erm, "H".

      However I wasn't particularly meaning personally identifiable. More that in JimF's case, his comment was directly attributable to him via his Blogger profile. Who he actually is in this case, is both somewhat tangential and irrelevant to this!

      I did mean however that it would be more helpful if people without a suitable profile could at least put a name or alias at the end of their comment. Yes, I know it could lead to a juvenile parody of "I am Spartacus" or whatever, but it is a form of courtesy when done properly. It also helps within a discussion when replying to individuals instead of to "Anon @ whatever date/time" etc.

      I think this may be what Chris Underwood was suggesting above, although maybe he just meant a Blogger profile or whatever.

      I'll agree the "Random attacks" was a bit over-strong, was not trying to suggest you're a random nutter running amok on the streets of the Bush!

      I do think though that some of the comments on this blog post have a whiff of the developer or council stooge about them. Although I wouldn't expect them to put anything like their real names to them.

      PS, it is my real name!

  21. Another good comparison is the fact that there is controlled parking in the streets around Fulham and Chelsea on match days. However the council does not extend the same apparently "unique" service to the streets around QPR. Neglected North H&F should strike out for independence

    1. I would point out that both those clubs have been in the premiership for ages - sadly not the case for QPR. In any case, I live very very near Loftus Road indeed, and can't say the football traffic has been much of a nuisance.

    2. I have to be honest, I do find it anomalous that Fulham FC have the extended parking restrictions but Rangers don't.

      Not that I'd welcome them if they were imposed.

      Don't know or care about the other lot!


    3. I may be wrong but I think that there was a recent(ish) consultation with residents in zone V. Maybe it is soon to be the turn of zone J for review. Currently one is going on for zones B and C I think. Zone map is on the LBHF site.

      Controlled Parking Zone V Review (LBHF website)
      In November 2011, Hammersmith and Fulham Council reviewed the operation of Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) V through consultation with local residents and businesses.
      Zone V is one of the largest CPZs in Hammersmith and Fulham, and is split into two mainly residential areas either side of the commercial areas of Uxbridge Road. Although the zone consists of predominantly residential streets, it is within walking distance of Queens Park Rangers football stadium, Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd's Bush market, 3 tube stations, the BBC Television Centre and is home to a number of schools.
      The consultation consisted of a number of proposals aimed at striking a balance of protecting residents from parking by visitors for Westfield shopping centre and at QPR football matches, whilst preserving the vitality of the area and facilitating parking for residents' visitors.
      The consultation period came to a close on 25th November 2011, feedback from respondents is currently being analysed and will be reported to the Cabinet Member for Environment in January 2012.
      Residents and businesses will be notified of any changes to the operation of zone V in the new year.

      You can see what people think about transport in LBHF here:

  22. Perhaps some of us use Anon because we work in a position where you can't knock the Council.

    Gerrymandering, Council Tax cuts, etc = stay in power

    Stay in power = job cuts, service cuts, etc

    Take off those rose coloured glasses

  23. All - sorry just back from some days away and revisiting this.

    A few points to make in response.

    It matters not one jot if anyone knows me. There's no reason to know me any more than anyone else who lives in the Bush.

    Cowardly was a bit strong in hindsight. There are valid reasons for anonymous as others have pointed out. I was just calling for a bit of transparency from people making the comments. It only serves to reinforce the point you are making if we know where you are coming from.


  24. In 1964 I started work at Rank Audio Visual down the alley by the market (goldhawk rd end) and used to pop in to the pie & mash shop for lunch most days it was llways great.

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