Sheppard Robson’s £280 million redevelopment of a famous market in east London has been cast in doubt after Tower Hamlets council decided to delay a planning decision following protests from local traders
Tower Hamlets councillors voted to defer a planning decision on the regeneration of Chrisp Street Market in Poplar, calling on the developer to carry out a fresh round of consultations and provide further information on the number of affordable homes provided.
Designed by Frederick Gibberd, the original market was constructed as part of the Festival of Britain Exhibition of Architecture in 1951 and is hailed as one of the first purpose-built pedestrian shopping spaces in the UK.
According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, project backer Poplar Harca housing association said the decision meant there was now a real chance the scheme wouldn’t go ahead, and said delays could mean losing out on crucial funding from the mayor.
The Chrisp Street market redevelopment is a joint venture between Poplar Harca and Telford Homes and housing association Poplar Harca that aims to provide 650 new homes as well as new shops and a cinema on the site.
Nevertheless, it has been met with stiff local opposition, particularly from local traders, who fear they will be priced out of the area by the development.
Harca director of development Neal Hunt said the decision put the project in jeopardy and was ‘at a loss to understand’ the councillors’ decision.
He said: ‘A handful of people with vested interests have made a disproportionate amount of noise against the plans at the very last minute, and elected members and candidates have exploited the timing of this decision for political ends.
Elected members and candidates have exploited the timing of this decision for political ends
‘That this has had such an influence on a scheme that provides for more shops and market stalls, support for existing traders to stay long term, more social and affordable housing, and more jobs and amenities is heartbreaking and, unfortunately, could jeopardise the entire scheme.’
He also added that any delay to the scheme could mean the project missed out on grant funding from the Greater London Assembly.
Traders claim that the redevelopment would potentially price them out of the area and also argue they have not been consulted properly on topics such as business rates, car parking and compensation for the disruption.
One market trader told The Evening Standard: ’We are afraid gentrification is going to happen here. Our livelihoods are being taken away, we will be kicked out through the back door.’
The council has also called for more details on affordable housing.
Five petitions, both for and against the proposals, were sent in
A Tower Hamlets spokeswoman said: ’Extensive consultation took place as part of the application process. In addition, the applicant held a series of engagement events involving residents and stallholders. Five petitions, both for and against the proposals, were sent in. All the responses were considered as part of the application.
’The committee voted to defer its decision to allow members to receive further information on the delivery of affordable housing, the public consultation, car parking and the proposed concentration of food and drink uses.’
Work on the first phase of the had been expected to start this year.
existing chrisp street market
Location Tower Hamlets, London
Type of project Masterplanning, residential, retail, culture, leisure
Client Telford Homes Plc and Poplar HARCA
Architect Sheppard Robson
Landscape architect Cameo & Partners
Planning consultant Savills
Structural engineer WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff
M&E consultant Cundall
Quantity surveyor Telford Homes Plc and Poplar HARCA
CDM principal designer ORSA
Lighting consultant Light Follows Behaviour
Main contractor Telford Homes Plc and Poplar HARCA
Appointmen: Invited competition
Original start on site date 2018 (start-Phase 1)
Completion date 2026 (end-Phase 2)
Gross internal floor area residential 65,100m²; community/retail/leisure: 18,200m²