Shepherd's Bush Market Traders Fight Compulsory Purchase Order in High Court

Eric Pickles' go ahead for redevelopment called "unlawful and unfair"

Shepherd's Bush Market traders went to the High Court last week in the latest stage of their fight against its redevelopment.

The traders began legal action in the High Court on March 26 against the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to quash a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) issued by the Government for the development of a private block of luxury flats adjoining Shepherd's Bush Market.

Leigh Day Solicitors, who are representing the group say that traders in the much-loved 100-year-old market are taking Mr Pickles to the High Court after he overturned the decision to enable the property developer Orion to build on the site which involves substantial disruption and alteration to the market.

In 2014 a Public Inquiry recommended that the proposed development of Shepherd's Bush Market did not offer sufficient guarantees and financial safeguards for the long-standing market traders.

An independent Senior Inspector, Ava Wood, stated that the development would also affect the ethnic diversity, independence and small scale retailing environment that is central to the appeal of the area and recommended that the CPO should not be confirmed.

Despite this finding, Mr Pickles, as Communities Secretary, overturned his Inspector’s recommendation, without giving any reasons.

Law firm Leigh Day are now representing the traders at the High Court in what they describe as a battle for their livelihoods, protecting the businesses which have been worked by the same families in the market for generations.

Hammersmith Parliamentary Candidate Andy Slaughter, who campaigned against the development during his years as local Labour MP, says: "Most people in Shepherds Bush were astonished when the Government ignored the decision of the Public Inquiry to protect the Market and told the developer to go ahead and bulldoze the area, without giving any reason.

" I hope the Court will see that not only hundreds of local businesses but a part of West London history is under threat and save Shepherds Bush Market."

James Horada, Chair of the Shepherd’s Bush Market Tenants’ Association, says: " It is heart-breaking that we the tenants have spent years actively striving for help to assist the businesses of Shepherd’s Bush Market.

" Instead of receiving funding that could have directly benefited the businesses, this scheme has been manipulated to assist the building and sale of over 200 luxury apartments.

" The scheme now threatens to compromise the unique and eclectic market businesses. This scheme is removing our security and forcing additional costs and liability onto our businesses. In the past 12 months we have had over 10% of the market businesses fold and leave the market.

" It is madness that the view of the inspector, who spent months studying and examining the facts and judged that the Compulsory Purchase Order should not be issued was dismissed and overturned by the Secretary of State.

" This scheme should be about protecting and cradling the businesses of Shepherd’s Bush Market and preserving an exceptional community."

Richard Stein, Partner from the Human Rights Department at Leigh Day solicitors says:
" Following the Public Inquiry into the scheme for Shepherd's Bush Market, the Inspector came to the clear conclusion that the proposals would not protect the diversity represented by the current traders and shopkeepers and she recommended rejecting the CPO.

" Apparently without any reason at all the Secretary of State gave it the go ahead. We consider that this decision is unlawful and look forward to it being quashed by the High Court.

" Not only is this decision unlawful, in our opinion, it is also unfair for both the market traders and the residents of Hammersmith & Fulham as well as shoppers from all over London and the world."

 

Artist's impression of Shepherd's Bush Market

Computer generated image of redeveloped market

 

March 30, 2015