Market traders can’t contain their anger
THE slightly grubby heart of Shepherd’s Bush is set to be transformed by a new “container city” featuring cafés, restaurants, bars, artists’ studios, offices for start-up firms and co-working space for creative freelances.
Hammersmith & Fulham council was last night expected to approve the project on a site beside the area’s famous market, originally earmarked for luxury flats.
That £150 million plan collapsed when developers Orion Land & Leisure and the U+I Group failed to secure a compulsory purchase order on a slice of land in Goldhawk Road that they needed to complete their building site.
Now it has emerged that the Plan B for the original one-acre development site is a modern extension to the 103-year-old Shepherd’s Bush Market, housed in 74 glass-fronted shipping containers, and open until 10pm at weekends.
Similar examples of “container architecture”, including Pop Brixton and Shoreditch’s Boxpark, are already in successful operation, and last month plans for a similar attraction in Camberwell were unveiled.
The Shepherd’s Bush project is thought to be London’s largest example of a container city, with plans for events such as yoga workshops, children’s parties and silent cinema screenings in a public square that will be created at the centre of the site.
To go with the industrial feel of the container units, outdoor benches and seats will be made from repurposed wooden pallets.
“The overall strategy for our proposals is to start to ensure that Shepherd’s Bush becomes a hub of cultural diversity and artistic talent,” explained a spokesman for the proposals.
“Our plans are a trigger to really raise the profile of the existing market so that footfall is encouraged and Shepherd’s Bush Market is a destination market once more.”
The plans also allow for the return of A. Cookes, the traditional pie and mash shop which closed in 2015 after more than 80 years in Goldhawk Road.
However, the project has horrified some of the market traders, who claim the new site will steal their custom. And more than 183 local residents have objected to the plans, fearing that the development will cause chaos in surrounding streets.
The planning permission will be for an initial period of two years so that the council can assess its impact on local residents, as well as its effect on trade at Shepherd’s Bush Market.
next to Shepherd’s Bush Market, a new public square will host film screenings
Container city plan: