Thursday, 23 April 2015

Does Shepherd's Bush Market Need Saving?

Shepherd's Bush Market in April 2015
The plans for the redevelopment of Shepherd's Bush Market are controversial, not least because they involve the demolition of the much-loved Cooke's Pie and Mash shop on the Goldhawk Road, featured in the classic film Quadrophenia. Recently some of the Market traders went to the High Court to fight against its redevelopment.  The legal action was begun 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. But is this proposed development really so bad, and should local residents oppose it?

Shepherd's Bush market is being developed by Orion

Have the public been consulted?

Yes. In November 2013 the developer of the market, Orion, held an open house consultation at the Bush Theatre on the Uxbridge road, which borders on the proposed scheme. A 3D architectural mockup revealed pretty clearly what the new development will look like.

On the left is the new plaza. To the right are the proposed high-rise flats.
What is involved?

At the north end, the Uxbridge road, there will be a new plaza, an open square for events and the like. The South end, where the scheme borders on the Goldhawk road, is where the new flats will be built. This is the controversial bit because it involves the removal of a small row of Victorian shops along the Goldhawk road - including the Pie and Mash shop.

Newsletter sent out by Orion after the consultation
What is the current legal action about?

Planning law is complex, and the appeal system is Byzantine. The current legal action focuses on a 2014 Public Inquiry which recommended that the proposed development of Shepherd's Bush Market did not offer sufficient guarantees and financial safeguards for the long-standing market traders, and should therefore be rejected.

The independent Senior Inspector, Ava Wood, said that the development would adversely affect the ethnic diversity, independence and small scale retailing environment of the market.

Despite this, Minister Eric Pickles rejected Ms Wood's findings. The current appeal seeks to overturn that decision, which itself follows many years of litigation in the High Court.

The Market today

Does the market need redeveloping?

Arguably, yes. It's pretty run down and, while it has a certain shabby charm, it's not exactly a tourist destination like, say, the Portobello Road Market or Borough Market. Some of the shops certainly have character, but overall it feels very under-invested.

Shepherd's Bush Market today.

Why don't the traders like the proposed development?

Many of the market traders don't like the development because they see this as a battle for their livelihoods, protecting their businesses, many of which have been worked by the same families in the market for generations, such as the Pie and Mash shop.

Andy Slaughter MP. Photo: Wikipedia
Who else opposes the plans?

Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter has consistently opposed the redevelopment.  In his words: "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."

Proposed redevelopment of Goldhawk Road

Will the area really be bulldozed?

Part of it.  A row of Victorian shops along the Goldhawk road will have to go, including the Pie and Mash shop, to make way for the posh new flats which will pay for the development.

All this will go, if the plans go ahead

Where can people see the plans?

You can visit Orion's official website to see more about the plans.  A temporary market is to be built to house the existing market traders, while the new building works take place.

You can read more about the story at , or copy this link into your browser:

The Goldhawk road, if plans go ahead

What do local people think?

Opinions differ. In my part of Shepherd's Bush, local opinion is divided, but anecdotal evidence suggests a majority in favour of the plans going ahead. After all, the present condition of the market isn't much to shout about.


Artist's view of the proposed market
The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre, find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market, and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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