Thursday, 9 February 2012

Shepherd's Bush Market: Council PR machine revs

The Council, as predicted, has not been slow to laud last night's decision of the infamous planning committee to overrule the traders and shop-owners of Shepherd's Bush Market and the Goldhawk Road and give the go-ahead for Orion to build seven floors of luxury flats on top of it.

Here's a couple of quotes from Pravda:

H&F Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, said:  

“There is very little doubt that Shepherds Bush Market needs significant improvement if it is to survive. People have been telling the council for many years that it needs to be protected and enhanced and these plans will ensure that it will flourish, with more people visiting and market traders enjoying a more secure and prosperous future. We fully recognise the market’s rich heritage and character and this scheme will build upon its diversity to reaffirm the market as one of London’s leading tourist destinations.

“Shepherds Bush really is on the up as a place to live, work and visit. The town was recently named as one of London’s most desirable places to live and that is partly due to the market regeneration and the Shepherds Bush Green revamp that is due to start imminently.”

Richard Olsen of Orion Shepherds Bush Limited said:  

“We’re very pleased with the outcome; it’s good news for the market and the area. The proposals will see the market regenerated and enhanced by introducing much needed investment and positioning it at the heart of a new high-quality mixed-use scheme. Our proposals seek to build upon its historic legacy, maintaining the diversity but at the same time implementing essential improvements to ensure the market becomes a destination in its own right.”

All of this ignores not only local people but the simple fact that an election on May 1st stands to stop this in its tracks, just as surely as our Council's attempt to railroad the King Street development was. It also ignores that a Court hearing scheduled for 15-16 May, even if Boris wins, also has the power to stop the redevelopment in its current shape.

So I leave you with a comment from the owners of Cooke's Pie & Mash shop on Goldhawk Road which is now scheduled to be demolished along with the rest of the 19 century row of shops in that part of the Bush:

"More lies told by the council working hand in hand with the developers. We will keep fighting".

And so they will.


  1. Property developer who stands to make money out of demolishing local shops says, "We’re very pleased with the outcome". Now there's a surprise.

  2. Best of luck to Cooke's, I hope they can fight this.

  3. The contempt H&F council shows the people of the borough is staggering. Another example of external, corporate venality and greed railroading the needs and wishes of local folk. Their profit, our loss. Fighting this awful plan is not regressive - regeneration and restoration are needed in the area. But this scorched earth, luxury investment property plan does neither. We can make the council back down but we have to stand up to them. I'm with Cookes the other threatened traders.

  4. "an election on May 1st stands to stop this in its tracks"... Why will it stop it in its tracks?

  5. Because Ken, in his visit to the Market when I interviewed him, hinted very heavily that he would not approve it - and it needs Mayoral approval to go ahead

  6. For more examples of Greenhalgh-speak, see attached link to Wednesday's Guardian interview with Greenhalgh:

    Do not forget to read the comments at the end

  7. Seems to me that lots of people do actually want to see the market improved.

    Just about the only people against it are traders who, understandably, are trying to get as much money for their units out of Orion as they can and others, such as your esteemed blogger, who are dead set against anything H&F Council tries to do for the sole reason they're Tory and not Labour.

  8. Not sure that's fair - he praises the Council when they deserve to be and criticises them when they don't. And this is from a Tory.

  9. STOP PRESS - Council redesigns the Borough flag.


    Turn it one way:
    Victory to the planners

    Turn it the other way:
    Up yours to the residents

  10. The market is on its last legs. It needs renewal. Renewal will have to be privately funded (at least, until someone discovers a money tree). This means that a developer will have to make a profit out of it. Which, given that the market is not a social service, but a collection of profit making businesses (albeit with many benefits for the local area no doubt), seems only right.

    Now, this may or may not be the best possible way to achieve the desired renewal of the market. Perhaps it needs to be changed or rethought; perhaps it's simply too big. But simply putting your fingers in your ears and digging in your heels just perpetuates the status quo. Any proposal for change in crowded inner cities always generates vociferous opposition. This does not mean that change is bad thing.

    So if, for instance, Ken were to win the mayoral election and put the kybosh on the current proposals, what then? Simply put up with the decline of the market for the indefinite future?

    Or come up with some constructive alternatives?

  11. seems like a valid point to me - my issue (as with so many of the other planning issues) has been local people being ridden roughshod over.

    I don't think anyone would be against constructive alternatives that had genuine local buy-in.

    1. Chris, what do you mean by 'local buy-in'?

      Honest question.

    2. well, simply that local people are part of drawing up the plans and have some meaningful involvement in them. The traders and shop-owners against the scheme are often portrayed as some kind of nimby brigade but they are very far from that indeed.

    3. Thanks Chris.

      I agree with you about local involvement being important.

      Not to endorse Orion, but to be fair to them, I attended 2 of the consultations at the library and was given every opportunity to talk to architects and submit suggestions, verbal or written. The comments I made were given intelligent consideration and although it could be co-incidence I see that some of the things I put in writing have appeared in the final plan.

      I am just a local resident - and I do feel that I have had the opportunity to get involved, but it was up to me to take it. I think that often people don't take up the offers of participation then complain that they weren't included.

      Of course some traders & shopkeepers will be affected and they should be listened to and generously compensated. But to me it's not clear whether they are complaining as residents, local people, or conservationists.

      Probably they are a mixture, but I think that it should be remembered that the traders and shops are businesses, not necessarily local residents.

      It's not been made clear how many of them live in Shepherds Bush. Their campaign appeals to the emotions, but is it actually about profit and loss? I'm not saying it is, but it isn't clear to me. It's not even clear if they own the buildings and live there, or are just commercial tenants. I think this does make a difference when weighing up their objections with the needs of the community to have the area improved. They could be driving Range Rovers and living in leafy Chiswick or in Surrey for all I know.

      If they are objecting because their private business interests are threatened that should be put in a different category from the wishes of local residents to see their area improved, to my mind.

      People who live here have to suffer the consequences of the regeneration or decline. Their interests are not necessarily the same as businesses who are doing a brisk trade as things stand and see no reason why they should have to do things any differently.

      Residents see it as a quality of life and environmental matter. Shopkeepers see it as a business matter. I don't think the two should have equal weight.

  12. Maybe TFL should cough up as it is they (as the owners of the market) that have neglected the upkeep and management of the market for years, so badly that it requires £2.3 million spending on it just to bring it up to compliance standard.
    Do up the market = yes
    Kick out shop owners (who are not even part of the market)- NO

  13. It seems all too often in this borough 'regeneration' means demolition and gentrification. Surely there are other ways to clean up and regenerate an area without bulldozers and side-lining local people?

  14. I just don't want to see a sanitized "Farmers Market" type affair in Shepherds Bush. It is something that is just disappearing in London these days - a real market catering for everyday people. If you want to see the future visualised by the Council, just go to Spitalfields market.