Sent to Hammersmith and Fullham Council on the 25th of October 2017
I am objecting as an academic expert on Traditional Retail Markets and the community value that they can bring to our cities. I have conducted research on Shepherds Bush Market as well as other markets across the UK and internationally. My objection is based on three issues: 1. Insufficient progress on the reasons that led to the refusal of the previous planning application (2017/01887/FUL) 2. Top-down regeneration approach and lack of community engagement 3. Detrimental effects on the character of the market
2. Top-down regeneration approach and lack of community engagement This proposal does not seem to have emerged from a genuine desire and need by the local community but seems to be driven by the profit-generating aims of a private company. This is evidenced by the objection that the Shepherd’s Bush Market Tenants’ Association (SBMTA) has submitted. The consultation carried by U+I regarding this application is inconclusive and does not show enough support for their proposal. For example. Only 36 feedback forms where submitted by the public, which is an extremely low and a wholly unrepresentative number of the local community and customer base of the market. The questions in the consultation document were too general and did not offer the consultees enough information about the potential detrimental effects of the proposal (as identified by traders and councillors). It is reasonable to think that most people would agree to plans for the general improvement of their areas if they were not presented with a broad picture; so the figures and graphs provided in the community engagement document are of little value. In terms of consultation with traders, there were also very limited and unrepresentative number of feedback forms returned and hence it is impossible to know what the general view by traders from this consultation exercise. Amongst the few traders that responded it was clear that they were generally more interested in investment directly into the market rather than a temporary project next to them. In terms of marker users, it does not look like there was a dedicated consultation session for them, so their views are unknown. There is univocal evidence in the academic literature that top down regeneration projects do not generate socio-economic benefits for people living in the areas where they take place and they can impact negatively on vulnerable groups. This proposal by U+I has all the characteristics of a top down regeneration approach and there is not enough evidence that it has emerged out of the need and desire of the local population, market traders and market users.
3. Detrimental effects on the character of the market The proposal by U+I has the potential to have detrimental effects for the market and there do not seem to be any plans to mitigate against these. There are several possible detrimental effects to the character of the market a.It is worth remembering that the previous redevelopment proposal on the site adjacent to this was eventually rejected (after a long legal battle) because it would have threatened the character of the market and the livelihoods of the existing independent traders. This threat was linked to the fact that the proposed development would have catered for a type of residents and consumers which would be at odds with the market offer as it is now. Therefore it was unlikely that the increased new footfall and potential customer base would be of any benefit to existing traders. b.The current proposal by U+I would be catering for a similar kind of socio-demographic as that envisaged by Orion previously and therefore similar reasons for refusing the project would apply here. c.There is evidence from academic research that pop-up projects, particular those addressed at creative workers, artists and foodie activities end up displacing disadvantaged groups. For example a recent article by Cardullo and Kitchin argues that “rather than local communities fully benefiting from economic revitalisation, the creative class are being drawn into these new digital hubs displacing existing residents through soaring rental and property prices” (Cardullo and Kitchin, 2017: 11-12).
For all of these reasons I conclude that the proposed project by U+I does not have the potential to benefit economically and socially the current users and businesses at Shepherds Bush market and therefore it should not be approved.