Greenwich Market Minutes

Since I’ve been sent the minutes of the latest Greenwich Market Consultation meeting by about five different people, I’m going to consider them generally available and pass them on to you.

I’ll warn you – they’re written in an annoying style – designed, I am convinced, to make you so fed up with whoever wrote them that you just give up. I stopped counting the number of times this or that “was commented” or ” was queried” (has this person even heard of a thesaurus?) with no actual attribution of what was said but I was particularly impressed with the euphemism that the Stockwell Street market was “experiencing change…”

But hey. It’s never much fun writing minutes of anything, and that’s not what this post’s about.

All in all my impression is, more and more, that everything’s being rushed through for the Olympics instead of thinking ahead to beyond 2012. There’s passing mention of ‘sustainability,’ but much talk of how quickly they can fit-out the hotel.

The temporary relocation of the market does get some attention; the bit in front of the Pepys building’s currently top choice – though why that horrid ugly stretch of concrete in front of the Cutty Sark couldn’t be pressed into some kind of useful (and better-looking) service instead of taking up yet more space in the greenery of the ORNC is beyond me. It’s much more visible and it’s all on hard ground (and wouldn’t require the relocation of the bike racks…)

The redevelopment of the market is inevitable. And I’m generally okay with it. I’d have preferred some kind of glass roof to the ‘funky’ Teflon-coated series of upturned cones that’s on the cards but I’m hardly going to march to the barricades over it. I worry, though, that the most consideration being given to it is how quickly it can be done – that magic 2012 date seems to be pulling cataracts over developers’ eyes.

And I’d welcome some kind of commitment to saving what one commenter called the “texture” of Greenwich Market – in the form of these not-utterly-essential-but-important-to-the-soul-of-the-market outbuildings. Not one of the plans I’ve seen has even acknowledged their existence, either to definitely destroy them or save them as a piece of Greenwich’s industrial fabric.


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