redevelop the Market ahead of what will doubtless be a boisterous and largely farcical planning committee meeting this evening, where Conservative councillors will nod the scheme through despite the widespread opposition that exists. It's by now a time-honoured practice of our Council.
One of the residents at the meeting has written an account of it which I reproduce below. I understand from an impeccable source that the Council's press team have been working closely with Orion for a number of months now to promote the scheme (even while it is still in theory subject to "consultation") and you can expect there to be a positive spin put out just after tonight's meeting about how wonderful it all is and how everyone agrees with it, really. Like they did after the planning committee meeting on King Street. They clearly didn't persuade Boris.
So to balance things out here is a perspective from an ordinary resident who cares about their Market and their area, and wouldn't normally have their voice heard through the Council/Developer spin machine:
"Yesterday a group of the Goldhawk Road Shopkeepers & their legal counsel Michael Webster; James Horada Shepherds Bush Market Traders Association; Rosemary Petit Save our Skyline/ Resident and myself (Shepherds Bush Green Ward resident) attended a meeting that was arranged by labour MP Andy Slaughter with Stephen Greenhalgh about the regeneration project".
I would like to extend a big Thank You to those who managed to take the time from their day to represent the various groups and express our grave misgivings of the development project. Despite the arguments presented against the project it was clear the LBHF Planning Officers have every intention of pushing this project through.
The group of representatives expressed that whilst they were happy with the idea of regenerating Shepherds Bush Market and the surrounding area they are very uncomfortable with allowing the development of a 9 storey 212 unit private apartment at the expense of the local community. Following are examples of the points made.
When asked why the Goldhawk Road shops were included in the Market Regeneration Project despite never being part of the market Matt Butler (LBHF planning) explained the Shepherds Bush Market site is somewhat awkward therefore a group of council planners sat around a table and decided as the Goldhawk Road shops are not listed and of no architectural value it was logical to include them in the development footprint.
When asked if they had considered what impact losing the shops would have on the community he said no. Consequently our community is under threat because a group of council people who most probably do not live in the area decided including the Homeless Shelter and 30 - 52 Goldhawk Road made logical sense in creating a site worthy of development.
Once again the question was posed as to why no other developers were invited to tender or considered for the Shepherds Bush Market Regeneration development project? Yet again the council failed to provide an answer.
Despite the relatively high level of objection the public have submitted against this Shepherds Bush Market Regeneration planning application and the Supplementary Planning Document facing a Judicial Review on May 15th - 16th 2012 the council planning officers have recommended its approval.
That is why I am putting out a CALL FOR ACTION!
1. LBHF planning committee are meeting tomorrow 8th February 2012, 19:00pm at the Hammersmith Town Hall on Kings Street to decide Orion Shepherds Bush Limited's planning application for the Shepherds Bush Market Regeneration. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE RALLY AS MANY OBJECTORS AS POSSIBLE TO ATTEND THIS MEETING AND ENSURE OUR CONERNS ARE PROPERLY REPRESENTED AS THE PLANNING COMMITTEE CONSIST OF A MAJORITY OF CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLORS WHO ARE LIKELY TO TOW THE PARTY LINE REGARDLESS OF PUBLIC OPINION.
2. The Council planning officers report on the Shepherds Bush Market Regeneration Programme planning (LBHF Planning Committee Public Report scroll down to page 121) seeks to disregard the Supplementary Planning Document which is the subject of a Judicial Review and the only opportunity the Market Traders and Residents (i.e. only Lime Grove & Pennard Road) were afforded to provide recorded feedback at the beginning of this project proposal. Additionally despite the unusually high number of objections received against the planning application (majority in support of the Goldhawk Road shops) the council are recommending the planning application be approved. This to me is a clear indication LBHF council do not have the interest of the community at heart and as such it is left to us (i.e. local tax payers) to let the authorities and the rest of the country know exactly how we feel. THEREFORE I AM ASKING YOU TO BLOG & TWEET TO THE VARIOUS COMMUNITIES INVITING THEM TO JOIN US AND MAKE PEOPLE AWARE THEY TOO COULD BE FACING THE SAME SITUATION.
3. It is conservatively projected the developers may make a clear profit of £30- £40 Million from this project. However
a. The development will not include 40% affordable housing as previously stated;
b. the commercial space provided in the proposed plan is significantly smaller than the existing shops which means it would be impossible to re-house the Goldhawk Road shops in the new development as indicated at the public meetings;
c. The compensation package being offered for loss of business during the construction period (8-10 years) is £500,000 for over 150 market traders (note: it is unclear whether the Shopkeepers are included in this package as well). That is approximately £3300 per trader over a significant period, which is woefully low and is likely to lead to the stalls having to shut despite serving this community for 98 years.
MODERN BRITAIN AND OUR COMMUNITY REPRESENTS A DIVERSE SOCIETY THAT PRIDES ITSELF ON TOLERANCE, INCLUSION AND OPPORTUNITY AT ALL LEVELS, WE NEED TO LET THE AUTHORITIES KNOW WE WILL DEFEND OUR HERITAGE. PLEASE WRITE THE MAYOR OF LONDON OBJECTING TO THE WAY PUBLIC FEELING IS BEING DISREGARDED BY HAMMESMITH & FULHAM COUNCIL.
THURSDAY UPDATE - As expected the Conservative members of the planning committee ignored local opposition and nodded the scheme through last night.