Search

Troubled plans to redevelop Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market put ‘on hold’ by Tower Hamlets Council

PUBLISHED: 13:02 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:18 22 February 2018

Protest at Tower Hamlets Council over Poplar Harca regeneration organisation's Chrisp Street Market scheme. Picture: Mike Brooke

Protest at Tower Hamlets Council over Poplar Harca regeneration organisation's Chrisp Street Market scheme. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Controversial plans to redevelop Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market have been deferred at a packed Tower Hamlets planning meeting.

Residents lobbying at Tower Hamlets Council for Chrisp Street Market scheme to go ahead. Picture: Mike BrookeResidents lobbying at Tower Hamlets Council for Chrisp Street Market scheme to go ahead. Picture: Mike Brooke

Rival groups of market traders and tenants living on the Lansbury estate waved banners in the public gallery as councillors voted last night to put a ‘hold’ on the scheme.

None of the campaigners wanted it killed off, but many protested at Poplar Harca regeneration organisation’s “lack of consultation”.

Two issues prevented the massive scheme that’s been in the pipeline for 10 years from finally getting the green light—lack of enough social housing and scrapping shoppers’ car-parking.

It followed a petition with 6,000 names calling for the scheme to be put back, after a protest meeting last Saturday and a demo outside Poplar Harca offices.

Campaigner Terry McGrenera accused the Poplar Harca organisation of switching from community housing 20 years ago to becoming a commercial housing provider.

The 649 homes planned in the regeneration included a ratio for sale on the property market increased by 250 per cent, while social housing would be demolished, he pointed out.

Protester Terry McGrenera condemning Chrisp Street Market scheme. Picture: Mike BrookeProtester Terry McGrenera condemning Chrisp Street Market scheme. Picture: Mike Brooke

Car-parking was also “an example of how planners have failed to comprehend what Chrisp Street market means to everyone”.

He was cheered in the gallery when he told councillors: “There is no study into the social impact that the redevelopment will have, because people don’t matter to them. This scheme is not going to be passed!”

The shopkeepers fear being priced out with hyped rents and rates. Feelings ran high between traders led by DIY store owner Murtaza Hasanie calling for the scheme to be put back and residents urging going ahead.

“No-one is saying ‘no’ to redevelopment,” Mr Hasanie told the East London Advertiser during the meeting. “The market is run down and needs rejuvenating, but they are dictating what we do and where we go.

“We’ll be forced to quit because we won’t be able to afford to stay. They want to turn Chrisp Street into another Westfield where local shopkeepers won’t be able to afford the rents.”

But some store owners were pressing for change and urged the planning meeting to push ahead with Poplar Harca’s plans, like Jean Palmer, a trader for 39 years who has chaired the Chrisp Street Partnership.

Message to Poplar Harca on Chrisp Street Market scheme's lack of social housing. Picture: Mike BrookeMessage to Poplar Harca on Chrisp Street Market scheme's lack of social housing. Picture: Mike Brooke

She told councillors: “I have watched this place decline over 40 years. It’s trapped in the 1980s—dirty, sad, run-down. It’s got drug-users, beggars and no security.

“We should bring it into the 20th century (sic) and this is the opportunity. Don’t let the area become a ghetto.”

Many residents waved banners saying “Yes to a new Chrisp Street Market” while others held placards demanding “more social housing” and “car parking for customers”. Passions were running high on both sides.

Poplar Harca later told the Advertiser: “We are demolishing 124 social homes, but are replacing them with 136 new ones plus 27 ‘living rent’ and 37 shared ownership properties.”

The organisation insisted it had “listened to concerns about customer parking” in the past week, but believed there wasn’t a need.

Shopkeepers like Bargain Zone’s Shawkat Ahmed who was at last night’s town hall lobby is worried that the lack of any customer parking will kill off the market. He said later: “Any market without a shoppers’ car-park will be disastrous. All the small traders would have to go.”

Cllr Peter Golds warned about rejecting the scheme outright as Poplar Harca would be able to appeal and a government inspector would decide.

But he insisted: “We should never consider any reduction in social housing in a borough like Tower Hamlets—this is an appalling insult to the families on our housing waiting list.”

Poplar Harca maintains that there is “a gain of social and ‘affordable’ homes”, despite Cllr David Edgar, chairing the meeting, mulling over the idea of putting the scheme on ‘hold’.

The authority voted seven-to-one to refer the scheme back to Poplar Harca to come up with a better plan and get the regeneration going “as soon as possible”.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 16:33

An anti-drugs street art campaign has appeared in and around Columbia road, Bethnal Green.

Yesterday, 15:28

Historic, innovative and quirky buildings across Tower Hamlets are set to open their doors for one weekend only as part of Open House London.

Yesterday, 13:36

The DLR is back up and running after the entire line went down this morning.

Yesterday, 07:00

Calls on the public today to vote in another referendum are being made by Tower Hamlets Council’s newly-appointed Brexit Commissioner.

Mon, 17:33

Senior coroner Mary Hassell has today unveiled the new policy that will dictate how her office decides which deaths to deal with first.

Mon, 15:00

Parishioners joined faith and civic leaders on a canal barge yesterday to get the Bishop of Stepney’s official blessing for their new community.

Mon, 13:00

A snake found stuck in a mousetrap in the street in Limehouse has been rescued by the RSPCA, the second found within a mile in just eight weeks.

Mon, 12:00

A financial ‘health centre’ is being opened today to help families struggling to make ends meet as the government completes its roll-out of Universal Credit to postcodes around Bethnal Green and part of Shoreditch.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now