Council Accused of "Outrageous Behaviour" as Market Plans are Adopted

And campaigners vow to continue to fight redevelopment

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has been accused of "outrageous behaviour" by campaigners after it gave the go ahead to its plans to redevelop Shepherd's Bush Market.

Shepherd's Bush Market Tenants Association (SBMTA) had expressed misgivings about the plans and last week held a public meeting to air their concerns.

Local resident Coll McDonnell also organised a campaign to save 32 - 50 Goldhawk Road, the row of Victorian shops at the entrance to the market, from demolition. The campaign's Facebook page now has over 400 members.

Both groups, including around 100 market traders, attended a full council meeting held last week, only to hear the plans being adopted.

The council claims it is creating "a new cultural quarter" and says:   "A new vision to protect and enhance Shepherds Bush Market and relocate the Bush Theatre has been published.

" After consulting on proposals for the second time in a year, the council has adopted a revised 'planning and regeneration brief' that will provide a planning framework for any development.

" As a result of the consultation, the council's regeneration brief now strongly encourages any developer to protect the popular businesses at 30-52 Goldhawk Road and offer them the chance to stay in the same location but in improved quality premises."

The council says it is now in discussion with proposed developers Orion Shepherd's Bush Ltd, as to how they will honour all lease agreements and obligations and keep any rent increases to an absolute minimum.

The council's brief also proposes that the market, which is owned by Transport for London would be enlarged to take in a former laundry site on Pennard Road, along with land currently owned by the Broadway Centre and Peabody Trust, and redeveloped to include new homes and public spaces.

With this in mind, the council has agreed to give developers OSBL an option to buy its land on Pennard Road, and if OSBL can assemble the rest of the land needed to come-up with a viable scheme that ultimately gets planning consent, the developer can go ahead with the scheme.

OSBL Chairman, Richard Olsen, says: "We are at the start of a journey to deliver a revitalised Shepherds Bush market and surrounding area."

The council says OSBL will now be working closely with market traders, businesses, residents and visitors to come up with a detailed masterplan for the site, with a planning application expected to be submitted to the council in 2011.

And council leader, Stephen Greenhalgh says: " We have listened carefully and will ensure that if actual regeneration plans do come forward from a developer that this process of listening continues. The council wants to see a market that is flourishing, with more people visiting and market traders enjoying a more secure and prosperous future. "

Campaigners, however, have reacted angrily, describing the plans as "social cleansing" and accusing the council of outrageous behaviour in disregarding the views of traders and local residents.

Following the council meeting, Col McDonnell thanked people for coming and said: " It was a fantastic show of unity and I think a real impact was made.

" The result was as we expected - the council just ploughing ahead with their 'vision' for Shepherd's Bush Market and Goldhawk Road. But there is still hope.

" I strongly believe that we can still stop these plans as nothing is set in stone and we may be able to stop them on a legal front. The next Full Council Meeting is on 26 January 2011. What I recommend is that a number of people ask questions at this meeting. I know it seems a long way off but I think it would be a good idea for us to prepare."

November 1, 2010