Thursday, 4 April 2013

Council defeat: Bush Market hangs on election

Our Council have conceded defeat in their attempt to force through the redevelopment of Shepherd’s Bush Market against the wishes of traders and shopkeepers on the Goldhawk Road. Characteristically for our local authority they chose a costly and glossy PR leaflet to make this announcement, dressed up as an “update” to residents living as far away as Brackenbury Road.

Referring to the plans to knock down the Victorian row of shops which include Cooke’s Pie & Mash and other Bush institutions, the Council announces that it has “not been possible to reach agreement” with everybody, and are therefore planning to issue compulsory purchase orders to force them out instead. They also slip in the fact that some residents of Pennard Road will also be forced out in case they end up owning property rights that the developers Orion would quite like to own instead.

It wasn’t just the residents H&F Council failed to convince, of course, it was a High Court Judge who ruled their approach to be illegal. But no matter.

Importantly, however, the Council concede on the back page (where else) of their PR brochure that there will be a public inquiry which will not conclude until Spring 2014. That, of course, is after the local elections in May of that year. So should this Council be defeated at the polls, a real possibility given how many formerly Tory voting areas have been treated, then the Market is saved and we can start to think about improving it in ways that people actually want.

I have personally spoken to many people affected directly by the bullying of our Council, and have witnessed the devastating affect it has had on them. That includes stress related conditions up to and including hospital admissions. It may be worth bearing that human element in mind as the political mud gets chucked about either by developers and their colleagues in the Town Hall, or those in opposition.

There’s no doubt which way our own area of the borough is going to vote, as we saw in the recent White City by-election. The battlegrounds will be the Hammersmiths and Fulhams of this world – interesting times ahead for all of us.


  1. Chris you are a great man, as you may know I live in Western Australia now but my family still live in and around the Bush.
    It would be a great loss to the community if Goldhawk Rd looked as sterile as they would have it look.
    Five generations of my family have used those shops and the market and most importantly for me the Pie n Mash shop! Looks like it will still be open in October when I visit.
    Keep up the good work and if I see you in the Crown and Sceptre I will buy you a pint.

  2. Thank you Chris:-) It is amazing the council is claiming 'its not been possible to reach agreement' when no proposition has been made to anyone. Not even the market traders have a clue what the proposition is and they are supposed to benefit the most. All anyone has ever heard is vacuous promises from the politicians and what is being printed in their self published media campaigns. So I put it to them how can you reach an agreement on an offer that has not been made.

    Additionally I am made to understand that councils use their powers of Compulsory Purchase Order to force people to sell their property which they then sell onto the private developer for more money as a single plot. Thereby essentially receiving a bonus for 'kicking people out'.

  3. That is one shiny leaflet!