Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Inside Out London: Council shamed

Greenhalgh: reduced to pleading "extra retail space"
Last night's BBC Inside Out programme is a must see for anyone wishing to understand what all the fuss is about when it comes to the Goldhawk Road row of shops that our Council and developers Orion wish to demolish, in order to construct 212 luxury flats on top of the next-door market. Against the evident pride and richness of the historic row of shops on Goldhawk Road was contrasted the bully-boy tactics of our Council and their property developer friends.

Shop owners from Cooke's pie & mash, Zippys Cafe and the fabric shops all explained, together with a local resident, the ways in which the Council had basically ignored them in their pursuit of the development. I was disappointed the programme missed the fact that Council Leader Stephen Greenhalgh, who was reduced to saying that the "new units" the shops would be offered would have "extra retail space", had actually promised at this public meeting not to let the shops be demolished if the shop owners didn't want that.

That is one of the biggest broken promises of his time in office as far as Shepherd's Bush is concerned. And as the programme went on to point out, the shop keepers themselves will be unable to pay the rent in the new modern units - having been forced from being freeholders to tenants in a luxury premium rate development. But who cares about that when there's millions to be made.

Watch it - and remember that there are now only two things that can save this historic piece of London: the judicial review on May 15-16, or the prospect of Ken Livingstone taking over from Boris Johnson. I'm no fan of Ken, personally, but it's quite clear that he seems to be the last hope for the Market.


  1. I saw the programme. The shopkeepers ought to be generously compensated or have a stake in the new development.

    Unfortunately the compensation element was not discussed, although this must be the major part of the issue: is it £1m each, £1.5m? It should be £2m perhaps, or more.

    The overriding impression I took away from the programme was that the row of proposed new shops actually looked quite good and would clearly be a huge improvement. The facade was of equal height to the rest of existing row and not the 'carbuncle' as has been claimed.

    The BBC did its best to hide the shabbiness of the row with soft-focus, but it didn't really disguise what a poor state they are in and just seemed to re-enforce how badly run-down the area is now.

    It was just one of those 'how sad times are moving on' items and did not shed any light on the facts.

  2. Incidentally don't put too much faith in the Judicial Review route because from what I know most people back out at the last minute. It's one of the unfair aspects of these legal things that the losing side usually has to pay all the costs and they can be absolutely astronomical.

  3. I'm not convinced that Ken has shown his cards on this. He's just said something like 'you know where my instincts lie'. His lie in maximising votes from residents and that just sounds like hedging his bets, rather than backing the wrong horse. No-one will be pleased if the market closes.

  4. Yes the row of shops does look shabby but they could easily be refurbished rather than being pulled down. All these businesses are thriving and are not part of the market so leave them alone.

  5. Interesting reading:

    London W12
    London BorougH of Hammersmith and Fulham
    Historic environment assessment
    May 2011

    A row of some 12 two-storey brick houses, fronting on to Goldhawk Road along the
    south edge of the site, is notable on several grounds (HEA 1d; Fig 14). These
    houses which, by the size and character of their visible fabric as well as from map
    evidence, are likely to date from the early 1860s, if not before, and may therefore
    pre-date the railway. Their construction then would indicate the importance of
    Goldhawk Road at that time (see below). The building on the corner of Goldhawk
    Road and Market Lane, on the west, has subsequently been rebuilt with an
    additional floor, probably, to judge by its appearance, at some time in a period of
    about 20 years ending in 1914. All the houses contain shopfronts on the ground
    floor which, as the row is not set back from the road, may be an original element of
    their construction. The buildings have been much altered in a variety of ways,
    indicating that they have been tenanted or separately owned for a considerable
    time. One house in the centre of the row presents a blind elevation of plain brick,
    painted pink, to the street; inside the upper floor of this house has been removed,
    and a girder shores the two houses to either side. Presumably this represents the
    result of Second World War bomb damage, which has subsequently been made
    good in as limited a way as feasible. The upper floors would have been used initially
    as residences, but evidently this is no longer necessarily the case. The street fronts
    are stuccoed or rendered and painted, probably to protect the brickwork and
    possibly to carry painted advertising, which one shop at No 48 Goldhawk Road does
    (‘A COOKE’S Traditional PIE, MASH, LIQUOR & EELS, ESTABLISHED 1899’).
    These buildings are likely to possess high communal value, as well as high
    evidential value for the construction and development of a mid-19th-century
    suburban row of shops. Their heritage significance is therefore rated as medium.

  6. Which fabric shops are included in this? Goldhawk Road is famous for fabric (I've seen it mentioned on a fashion drama) and the loss of any (in particular, A One fabrics - which has a very extensive collection) would be terrible...

  7. Ken is a such clever politician.

    I think he can see the rights & wrongs on both sides but senses that there are genuine mixed feelings on this with the voting residents, so the best option is to be ambiguous.

    On the one hand no-one wants to see a compulsory purchase, on the other everyone wants to see the market rescued and the area going up rather than down.

    The shopkeepers might not even have a vote, depending on where they live - but everyone who lives there does.

    When push comes to shove, most people vote with their own best interests in mind.

  8. This is a better link. The programme starts at the bit about Goldhawk Rd: http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01cc5mx/?t=18m50s

    I love the shops and am against them being knocked down. But the programme goes to show how left wing the Beeb are. I am sure it wouldn't have made the show if it was Labour that was doing it.

    1. I can assure people that as a BBC producer I made many films when Labour where in power highlighting issues if communities were seemingly unable to get their voices heard. Party politics do not come into this. As someone who has worked at the BBC for over 25 years i can assure anyone that the old leftie image of the BBC couldnt be further from the truth. Being a film maker for the BBC sometimes feels like being a football referee both sides think you are biase against them All the Best Ray Hough Producer Inside Out

  9. Hello Derek,

    You asked a question regarding the compensation package being offered. On Wednesday 8th February LBHF Planning Committee approved the Orion Shepherds Bush Limited planning application for the Shepherds Bush Market Regeneration: (please refer to the link below and scroll down to page 97) http://democracy.lbhf.gov.uk/documents/g1957/Public%20reports%20pack,%2008th-Feb-2012%2019.00,%20Planning%20Applications%20Committee.pdf?T=10

    The document shows a compensation package of 500 Hundred Thousand pounds (£500K) will be provided as compensation during the construction. What is not clear is how that will be distributed as there are 140 market stall traders, 12 shops on Goldhawk Road (11 of which have won a judicial review against the council and have never been consulted as part of this process)and whether the proposed production of marketing and promotional material will be taken from the same fund.

    I have a question. Does anyone know how many of our local councillors work in marketing, advertising and promotions?

    Not to mention construction is expected to last between 8-10 years. The council and developers are claiming disruption will be at a minimum because it will be a phased development. However I will bet money noise, dust and traffic will be a continuous issue throughout.

    It is amazing developers are granted permission to build flats on areas that are not designated for residential intensification on the GLA plan or the LBHF framework. Additionally there is no indication as to how much European funding will be sought for this 'regeneration' project. Any funding provided by Europe or any other organisation where their money comes from government coffers is our money.

    So who is really benefiting form this regeneration development?

    1. Thanks Kimikawa,

      I just want the market to survive & prosper & everyone in Shepherds Bush to benefit from it. I definitely don't want anyone wrongly treated or any laws broken.

      Everyone concerned should be treated fairly and generously and if they are not then I don't support it.

      I hope the shops can stay if possible but we are told it's not.

      But I can see from what you say it's a lot more complex than it looks.

      So maybe I was expecting too much.

  10. Well said Kimi, a lot of people are not aware of the level of underhandedness that has played a part in this. 30-52 Goldhawk Road have never been a part of the Market. When LBHF solicited the developers, this is also a point that people seem unaware of and this is why only one developer has been in the running, the developers were not particularly interested unless they could get their hands on the Goldhawk Road shops -under compulsory purchase order so as to maximise their profits and sweeten the pot for the Council. The developers keep stating that they have been in talks with the shop owners. Despite numerous requests in writing from solicitors requesting their proposals nothing has ever been laid out!The £500,000 you mention as a whole sounds quite impressive until you realise how many people it has to be split between. The Council says that it prides itself on transparency. Utter rubbish - completely opaque would be closer to the truth.

    1. I didn't know that.

      I hope & trust things will work out well for all the shops. They are not just bricks & mortar, it's about the people & what they do. It must be awful to be going through this & they should get properly treated.

  11. Ken will say anything to get back in. Considering how he ignored the results of the 'consultation' regarding the extension of the Congestion Zone, I take anything he says with a bucket of salt.

    Back to the row of shops - had the owners actually invested in the upkeep of their buildings then it would be unlikely that they'd be for the chop. As it is I don't have a problem with the redevelopment as the current units are eyesores.

    1. I personally do not think that Cookes Pie and Mash shop looks an eyesore. We are not against the revitalisation of the market. Never have been.

  12. The row of shops are not the market. Yes the owners are to blame for the condition of the premises but I can think of many many shops in the Goldhawk that are in poor condition but the difference is that they don't happen to be in the way of the market development.

  13. The most important thing to remember, is that the shops are NOT PART OF THE MARKET. if the market is to be refurbished, all it ever needed was Boris to inject the money it needs to update it, rather than greedy developers who are there for their own selfish greed. Whats amazing, the Councillor previously in public promised the shops that they won't be demolished if they didn't want to. Interesting to take note, the regeneration team, no names mentioned, only worked for H&F, in the last yr or two, and thinks he knows the area well? This makes me wonder, how many really know the area and culture . If what was aired on INside out, by the councillor , lets put it in writing ! Previous verbal promise holds no guarantees, and his statement is just another publicity stunt. ANOTHER AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR!

    1. The trouble with lots of these recent proposed developments is that a desirable aim is ruined by the greed of the developers in question.

      For instance, regarding the King Street development in Hammersmith: Yes, it'd be lovely to see the old facade of the Town Hall and get a new public square, but not at the cost of the cinema, a park and the imposition of a load of flats for the terribly well-off.

      Similarly, in Bush: Everyone would be happy to see the market cleaned up and given a lick of paint, but not at the cost of a row of shops that aren't even in the market and yet more unaffordable homes that will stick out like a sore thumb.

  14. Unfortunately this isn't a one off development for this borough. Everywhere you looking there are planning application such as the town hall site, the broadway, earls court exhibition site, westfield, etc.

    And what about the absurb 30 odd storey tower block at imperial west.

    The borough and infrastructure can't cope now.

  15. Its also the fact that no one local can actually afford to live in these places. How do 'luxury' (a debased word, to be certain) flats address the needs of people on low wages as private rents continue to rise, whilst no one dare utter the dirty phrase 'council house'?

  16. Alexander, THERE IS NO SOCIAL HOUSING, as every development MUST offer this. But somehow, as this developer is injecting £500,000, wouldn't surprise me, if the council are feeding themselves into, and making it look like its from the developers somehow, they feel, that the developer is doing an honourable job! Each LUXURY flat, will go between £350,00-£750,00 multiply this by 212 flats. its huge MEGA MEGA BUCKS!

  17. I know. It's disgusting. Even the so-called 'affordable' housing is out of reach of the lowest paid.