Orion and DevSec are showing initial ideas for the regeneration of Shepherds Bush Market at a public exhibition.
Orion and Develepment Securities are the developer partner with LB Hammersmith & Fulham for the redevelopment of the market site. The exhibition at the old Shepherd’s Bush Library in Uxbridge Road is the start of a consultation which should lead to a planning application in the summer.
Richard Olsen, chairman of Orion Shepherd’s Bush, told the Hammersmith Chronicle: “We are beginning to make plans for the improvement and expansion of Shepherds Bush market. This design process is likely to take between four and six months and we will work with local people in an open and transparent way, running public consultation and engagement activities throughout the design development process.”
The developer has promised traders that no one will be required to move off site or close for a significant period of time, that rents will be held at current values for at least three years, and that all existing lease arrangements will be honoured.
Local traders have expressed concerns over the plans and their impact on their businesses. But some have now spoken out broadly in favour of the regeneration plans.
Aslam Malik of Moon Foods Cash and Carry, which is situated close to the Goldhawk Road entrance to the market, said: “I have been in the market for 28 years and have owned my shop since 1997. It is impossible to compare the market today with how it used to be 10 or 20 years ago. I do not even get half as much business now as I used to because no one comes here any more. The market definitely needs a change because it is going downhill very fast. The way things are going, no one will ever come here in the future. Something needs to be done to save the market.”
“I would like to see a full regeneration of the area. However, the one thing that we really need is improvements to the parking.
“I attended the meeting with Orion and was pleased with what they had to say. I definitely feel good about the future of the market now from what I have heard from the council and Orion. All being well, we will see the market return to its glory days of the 80s and 90s.”
Waseem Zakaria runs a butchers and a fruit and veg stall in the market. He said: “The market is really struggling at the moment and I am in favour of the council’s proposals to regenerate it. However, it is vital the market traders are at the heart of the regeneration and the parking situation is improved.”
Wahid Abohiga sells CDs and DVDs and runs the first market stall from the Goldhawk Road entrance. He said: “Since I came here in 1997, the market has taken a turn for the worse. No one comes here any more and there is a very bad atmosphere. These proposals from the council and Orion give me and a lot of traders hope that things will improve. Something needs to be done to bring new people here. The stalls need to be enlarged. If my wife wants to buy a pair of trousers the shop or the stall must have space for her to try it on, otherwise she will just go to Westfield.”
However, not all of the market traders appear to be in favour of the regeneration proposals at the moment. James Horada, Chair of the Shepherds Bush Market Traders Association, said: “OSBL did an initial presentation to traders last week and there were a couple of concerns that have left us worried. Orion spoke about creating a third entrance to the market from Goldhawk Road and we found this particularly upsetting as we have made it clear to them in the past that we think this would divert people away from businesses that are currently in the market.”
“Orion also failed to give us any real information about exactly what kind of regeneration they have planned for the market. The current infrastructure of the market does need improving and they were very vague about this.”
“We have hoped that regenerating the market would lead to new parking and loading bays within the complex itself but Orion did not appear to be in favour of that.”
OSBL responded by saying that the ideas presented are initial concepts only and that specific initiatives and designs will be developed working closely with traders and local people over the six months of masterplan development and consultation that lies ahead.
Orion Shepherds Bush Limited Chairman, Richard Olsen, said: “We’d like people to understand that our approach is to involve local people from the beginning of our design process, not present them with finished plans just before we submit a planning application. Information is not being hidden nor is it intentionally unclear and we are certain that people would prefer to be involved in helping us to shape up the plans rather than being left out of this process.”
Stephen Greenhalgh, Leader of the Council, said: “The council wants to see a market that is flourishing, with more people visiting and market traders enjoying a more secure and prosperous future. Our proposals are all about increasing footfall to the market and making the traders and the businesses in the surrounding area more profitable. We also want to create new public spaces, build new homes and create a new cultural quarter, focussed around the Bush Theatre who have recently moved into the old library building.”
OSBL say they will be working very closely with market traders, businesses, residents and visitors to come up with a detailed masterplan for the site, with a planning application likely to be submitted to the council in 2011.