Greenwich Market Decision

As might have been predicted, we lost our fight for Durnford Street. While not a single member of the council wanted the new development in its current form, let alone most local folk, Nick Raysnford’s got his way. The buildings will go as part of the now-approved market development. 

Apparently the biggest issue was that only local people protested about the Durnford Street buildings. The council, however much individuals on it might have disapproved of losing some of the last historic ‘working’ buildings in Greenwich, chose as a group to concentrate on other aspects of the proposal, making it just ordinary people v. Greenwich Hospital, who have a mighty publicity machine and friends in high places. 

I guess we should be proud though, that because of the ruckus we kicked up, we have at least stopped that ghastly original roof design and the cobbles. The historic buildings can whistle, though, as they make way for a trash compactor. Such is progress.

The decision is here.

A sad day for Greenwich, IMHO.


29 Comments to “Greenwich Market Decision”

  1. Paul says:

    While the Hospital people are the baddies – cynical, and economical with the truth – it’s Nick Raynsford, the Greenwich Society and the council’s own planning officers, who agreed to the destruction of Durnsford Street early on – who are also to blame. Greenwich Hospital Estates had a good, and expensive, PR campaign to bring these people on-side.

    On the bright side, we’ve made them spend a lot of money. And the retention of the roof and the cobbles is a real victory.

  2. OldChina says:

    Do we have a demolition date? How much longer do we have to enjoy Durnsford street lovely buildings before they become replaced by trash compactors?

    Does this mean the mega-hotel is going ahead?

  3. Paul says:

    Yes, it’s going ahead. THey have to build within two years.

    Eric Pickles, and the inspector, rejected the original scheme, but approved the revised scheme. I think, but am not certain, that apart from saving the floor and roof, it also has the benefit that GHE won’t be able to reclaim costs or damages from the council, as the original rejection is vindicated. I heard they’d spent £2m on the original application, and would suspect another £1m or more has gone on the appeal.

    I wonder how high the rent for stalls (if there are any) or room-rates will go, to recoup that money?

  4. James Spinks says:

    I thought Nick Raynsford was supposed to work *for* ordinary local people?

  5. Aw c’mon James – whatever gave you that idea? Oh – you mean because he’s our locally elected representative…

  6. Steve says:

    Okay, not as we hoped but it’s not as if the market is lost forever.

    Spitalfields came out of it’s rebuild well enough and while some of the ‘bohemian’ charm was lost, it’s very much a first-class venue. The work at Borough is also far less destructive than feared.

    My hope is that the rebuild is swift. The Shard was a mere crater in the ground a year ago, I shall dream that Greenwich Market moves as rapidly.

    Dreeeam….dreeeam….*Makes wavy motion with his arms and slinks away*

  7. Paul says:

    Now we’re here… Spitalfields isn’t a bad comparison. Some of the older shops have suffered, and the independent restaurants they were promised are all chains; but the THursday market, for example, is better than it ever was. To have more life and bustle around Greenwich market in the evening will be good.

  8. Ebspig says:

    Yes, a sad day for Greenwich, though not an unexpected decision (if only Greenwich had some highly prominent passionate advocates….) Once again plans and decisions are made by people who appear to know nothing about the distinctive character of the place, or do not care.

  9. Paul G says:

    Wasn’t the Conservatives big idea that local communities should have more say in their local communities? Surely with such overwhelming opposition to the second rate proposal Mr Pickles should have supported the local community against this? Once again Greenwich Hospital kick their way through local opinion in search of a quick buck.

  10. Paul G says:

    Nick Raynsford. Local people’s opinions. Does not compute does not compute does not…..

  11. [...] Reaction from 853 Reaction from the Greenwich Phantom [...]

  12. methers says:

    Pickles describes Raynsford as being “in some ways my hero”:

    http://www.epolitix.com/1832-blog/blog-post/newsarticle/nick-raynsford-is-new-john-wayne/

    Is it any surprise this went through?

  13. Simon J says:

    Eric Pickles should hang his head in sahme.

    He has let the Greenwich Hospital trust vandalise our Town Centre.

    He has ignored local opinion.

    And I can only suggest he had never, ever been to the market to see it for himself. Had he bothered to walk around the stalls and speak to local people he would have been left in no doubt how much opposition there is to this scheme.

    I doubt the Council will be able to afford to appeal this decision. Pickles has taken care of that by slashing their budget too!

    But I would just like to say thank you to all the local residents and local councillors who led the campaign against the Trust.

    All is not lost – we may have just revived a sense of community and shown that we all care about our surrounds.

  14. Pity the General Election wasn’t this year, as perhaps Mr Raynsford would have been more likely to listen to his constituents whilst under threat of being voted out. By the time of the next election, most people will have forgotten, won’t they?

  15. Mazer says:

    I could cry.

    There is planning for hotels all over Greenwich and now we will have one in a completely unsuitable site – possibly ruining and ‘sanitising’ the quirks, charm, independence, and appeal of this wonderful imperfectly wonderful riverside town.

    We can only hope that some stalls and interesting places remain after the decimation project of the hospital. Chains places all over the place will no doubt pay more rent and it’s all about the money naturally.

    I think Greenwich Hospital should change their name, their title suggests a historical link that implies an appreciation and respect for the town. Perhaps Greenwich Investment and Developments ?

  16. Scott says:

    Have they not considered the noise the market makes when they set up in the morning. It shouldn’t be to long for the hotel to complain about the noise and have the market hours restricted.

  17. j garcia says:

    Scott,there won’t be a market. At least not in the form we know it, with stalls crammed into every nook and cranny. Don’t forget that the new hotel is advertising alfresco dining in its “courtyard area”. Frank of INC has been promised a reinstated seating area outside the Hardy pub, similar to his set up at the Coach and Horses. In short there will be a small central piazza surrounded by cafes and eateries of the chain variety, with a few quaint stalls for them to gawp at..

  18. Rik P says:

    Please not like Spitalfields! The redevelopment there has rendered it soulless, characterless and full of bland chains.

    What a depressing decision. Parts of Greenwich are becoming homogenised at an alarming rate.

    I feel for the traders and shop owners. I understand the stalls will be relocated but what about the shop owners?

  19. Peter T. says:

    It was clear from the behaviour of Greenwich Hospital, the Developers, Raynsford and their supporters that they knew they had the power to overturn local Democratic decisions in favour of their Oligarchy.
    This is a situation which in any other country would be seen as corrupt.

  20. Orlando says:

    Couldn’t Greenwich Hospital do something locally that they’re actually good at – like run our secondary schools instead of Greenwich Council. Or maybe even offer a load of bursaries for Greenwich children at their own school – after all they are a charity !

  21. Nathalie says:

    Well, lets not give up yet. We can appeal this decision I believe and we need to get Boris on side!

  22. Paul says:

    The only way to contest this is via a Judicial Review – and Greenwich Council don’t have the money.

    My thoughts are that we have to accept this as a fait accompli and make the best of it. Most crucial, though, is to keep a close eye on how the traders are treated – in particular, we need to look at the planning law, and make sure GHE don’t section off more of the central area for eating (for the hotel/Admiral Hardy/George III) and hence further reduce the market space.

    The other option is a residents’ occupation of The Stables. Phant, bring along your tricorne and a suitcase, I’ll bring everything else!

  23. Devonshire Drivel says:

    I can’t believe this has happened. It is terribly sad. How does our MP justify what he has done?

  24. Paul says:

    I’ve heard Nick Raynsford is visiting the market, Friday afternoon.

    I think at this point, there’s nothing to be gained by refighting the last battle. What we HAVE to do is get some promises that he will help the traders.

  25. Nathalie says:

    I disagree. There is every point in fighting the last battle. The plans for the market have ruined it – it is half the size it was so that already means half the traders out of a job. There must be something we can do. I’m happy to camp out in the stables for as long as it takes, or can Boris not veto it…?

  26. Kat says:

    This is just awful…What is the point in giving the go-ahead to build another bland hotel when the Council are slowly eliminating the very reason tourists are drawn to the area!! Reduce the size of the market and reduce trade, tourism, regular business, small unique businesses…its part of the CHARM of this area. People wont come here to visit a TRASH COMPACTOR!! The whole situation is just rediculous and I am appaled that our MP has backstabbed the local people and businesses like this.

  27. Robin says:

    I agree with Kat. The problem is I think tourists will still come but they wont realise that the Greenwich they are in is not as good as the Greenwich as was.

    I also worry that this is just the beginning, or the, er, middle of the beginning. I mean, the Novotel is an eyesore really but got there first. The new Premier Inn on Greenwich High Road is an awful, bland building and the Galliard Homes rabbit hutches are no better. Not in centre of Greenwich but depressing anyway.

    I have gone slightly off point here but what is next?

  28. mel says:

    Does anyone know if there is anything further that can be done to save the market? I’ve written to Boris but ironically his office says that this is something that should be dealt with by the local council. Eric Pickle’s office says, more or less, what’s done is done and Nick Raynsford is yet to answer my email – no surprise there.

    Can anyone advise on why Nick Raynsford took the decision to the Secretary of State?

    Is there any further action being taken?

  29. Pablo Perez says:

    Okay, so the gentrification begins. Some like Spitalfields, some do not. Personally I just think this is the road to all distinctiveness being lost. The characterless mono-stores can all move in. We don’t need another Covent Garden, Spitalfields or Borough. What makes people visit Greenwich Market is that it offers a certain something that makes it a destination.

    When I think of Greenwich I think of the park, the market, the Cutty Sark and several pubs. I hear some ghastly glass shield will effectively destroy the Cutty Sark. Soon the market I love will be no more.