Monday, 21 March 2016

Market Traders Win in Court of Appeal - Market Development Stalls Again

Shepherd's Bush Market
The Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of minister Eric Pickles to uphold a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on a row of shops on Goldhawk Rd, adjoining Shepherd's Bush Market (see photo below).

Market traders are now celebrating the ruling, which overturns the High Court ruling made in August 2015 by Mr Justice Dove, and effectively blocks the development from going ahead.
Boarded-up shops on Goldhawk Rd. 

Market Traders and developer Orion have been locked in a six year dispute over the future of the market, the development of which has been stalled by the ongoing - and apparently endless - litigation.

Why was the 2015 court decision overturned?
In his decision, given on March 18th, Lord Justice Lewison (sitting with Lord Thomas, The Lord Chief Justice and Lord Justice Longmore) wrote:

“… although it is clear that the Secretary of State disagreed with the inspector’s view that the guarantees and safeguards were inadequate, he does not explain why he came to that conclusion. I do not consider that requiring a fuller explanation of his reasoning either amounts to requiring reasons for reasons, or that it requires a paragraph by paragraph rebuttal of the inspector’s views. But it does require the Secretary of State to explain why he disagreed with the inspector, beyond merely stating his conclusion that he did. The two critical sentences in the decision letter are, in my judgment, little more than “bald assertions”. The Secretary of State may have had perfectly good reasons for concluding that the guarantees and safeguards were adequate. The problem is that we do not know what they were. In those circumstances I consider that the traders have been substantially prejudiced by a failure to comply with a relevant requirement.” 

The lesson here for Government ministers is - you must give reasons for your decisions.

The Developer - Orion Land and Leisure
Who wins and who loses?
The market traders were of course delighted. Andy Slaughter, our local MP,  thanked "our most senior judges for standing up for the underdog".

Orion, the developer, was not at all pleased. No-one at Orion was available for comment but their PR representative did supply this statement:

"We are extremely disappointed with the decision in the Court of Appeal, as we believe that our ability to deliver the much needed investment and regeneration of Shepherd’s Bush Market will now be seriously affected. The decision creates further uncertainty for the existing market traders and consequently the future of the market, which has long been in decline.

We remain committed to providing a vibrant and successful market that will return it to its rightful place at the heart of the local community. However, without the wider investment and redevelopment needed to realise our common vision for the Market, another one of London’s historic landmarks may be lost.”

Another loser in this case is Mr Justice Dove who, in the summer of 2015, upheld Eric Pickles' decision to overturn the CPO and also rejected an application by the market traders for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.  Judges don't like being overturned in the Court of Appeal, especially when they have themselves refused leave to appeal.
Greg Clark MP

What is next for Shepherd's Bush Market?
This is not at all clear.  The developers could negotiate with the market traders and agree some sort of compromise solution.  Or, the decision on whether or not to uphold the CPO could be sent back to the Secretary of State for Communities, Greg Clark MP.  Presumably this time he will give reasons for his decision - unlike his predecessor.

What is clear is that, unlike many other developers in our neighbourhood, Orion have not succeeded in winning over the hearts and minds of local people for their plans.

This is a lesson not lost on other local developers, such as those developing the Dorsett Hotel, the old BBC TV Centre site, and the old M&S warehouse site on Wood Lane. Most of these developers have made considerable efforts to keep local communities advised, updated - and on their side.

Shepherd's Bush Market today - in need of investment?
The future?
For now, the market stays as it is - underinvested, and with falling traffic and fewer traders.

Meanwhile the value of the land it sits on - and those unbuilt "luxury" flats - continues to increase.

Other points of view?
To see what the Evening Standard had to say follow this link.  And to see local MP Andy Slaughter's view, click here.  And to see the views of Leigh Day, the Market Traders' lawyers, click here.

To see just how long this sorry story has been running, follow this link.

The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at shepherdsbushblog(at) And do leave a comment in the section below.

No comments:

Post a Comment