‘Gentrification’ fear puts plan for Chrisp Street Market revamp on hold

Developers behind a £280 million makeover of a historic market square in east London today warned the scheme may be scrapped after a row over “gentrification”. 

Plans to regenerate Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market, Britain’s first purpose-built pedestrian shopping area, were put on hold last week after Tower Hamlets councillors voted to postpone planning permission. 

The joint venture by developers Telford Homes and housing association Poplar Harca had proposed 650 flats, new shops and a cinema for the market, which was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd for the Festival of Britain in 1951. One in five of the new homes were designated to be affordable. 

Neal Hunt, Poplar Harca’s director of development, said the delay could mean the loss of grant funding from the Greater London Authority. 

He said: “I’m just very disappointed. It’s a very sad decision. There’s a real chance that the scheme won’t go ahead.”

Campaigners claimed the plans would lead to traders priced out and “replaced by a Waitrose”. 

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Traders also claimed they had not been given a chance to discuss capping business rates and service charges, compensation for disruption, keeping a car park and having a say in where they are placed after redevelopment. Shawkat Ahmed, who owns a Bargain Zone store, said: “We are afraid gentrification is going to happen here. Our livelihoods are being taken away, we will be kicked out through the back door.”

A Tower Hamlets spokesman said: “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. A revised report will be brought back to the committee in due course.”

Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/gentrification-fear-puts-plan-for-market-square-revamp-on-hold-a3769906.html