Greenwich Market NOT to be Redeveloped

Folks – just getting in news that Greenwich Market is NOT to be redeveloped wholesale any more.

J tells me:

“There was a big meeting yesterday evening in the chapel of the RNC, market traders and shop leaseholders attending.

Edward Dolby stood up and declared that they would be letting the planning permission lapse and that therefore the market development was not going ahead.

Instead they would be concentrating on a programme of piecemeal improvement, such as renovating the floor and renewing the roof.”

I never said that Greenwich Market didn’t need some work and certainly a new roof would be amazing, but this now gives us the opportunity to tell Greenwich Market how WE think it can be improved instead of having a redevelopment imposed on us.

Of course I’m hoping that this is a reprieve for Durnford Street’s gorgeous little florists, Greenwich’s market traders and prospects for tourism based on our town having something unique rather than an off-the shelf shopping mall. It will also mean that the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College can be just that – grounds.

Obviously there will be a little disruption for traders like J while the roof’s being redeveloped but they seem to be being sensible about it – I understand February was mentioned for that – the least popular month for trade – and, as J says, it means that he can now plan his life again.

More news as I get it, chaps.

the attachments to this post:

durnford 1 low
durnford 1 low

19 Comments to “Greenwich Market NOT to be Redeveloped”

  1. Franklin says:


  2. Scott says:

    Fantastic news!

  3. JR says:

    YES! **does a “they’re leaving Greenwich Market alone” jig around the front room**

  4. Franklin says:

    I would now like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the Ibis, Novotel, Premier Inn, Travelodge and Mercure hotel chains – and indeed Greenwich Inc – for making the boutique hotel component of the market redevelopment so much less financially viable…

  5. Jack Cross says:

    What Franklin said.

    There must be serious over-capacity in Greenwich now, so building more hotel rooms must look much less attractive than it did, say 3 or 4 years ago. There are also shedloads of new budget hotels not far from Greenwich – on the Peninsula, and around Excel which must impact on demand for hotel rooms here.

    Hopefully, with a new guy in charge, Greenwich Hospital wil learn from this and listen to the community a bit more. If this episode has knocked some of the arrogance out of the Hospital, the that alone is a very good thing.

    This incident shows how important it is to object to things that damage our commnity – we lost the battle (thanks Eric Pickles) but we won the war. At least, it looks like we have………

  6. It will be interesting to see what Nick Raynsford has to say on the matter, after going against what most of his own consitituents wanted to lobby Mr Pickles for what was essentially a theme-shopping mall…

  7. David says:


  8. JL says:

    I too am delighted the Hospital has decided not to develop Greenwich Market, but we have to be a bit careful here too. Greenwich Hospital’s purpose is to raise lots of money for a school and while we are all celebrating this is a good time for them to slip in a new money-making wheeze when no-one’s watching. Watch your backs!

  9. RobertNumber16 says:

    Dear Phantom perhaps I’ll ask Nick Raynesford (and any other questions your followers might be interested in me asking ) Nick is coming on my chat show “Robert’s Full English Breakfast Show” Next week I have actress Brenda Blethyn ( who lives not too far from Greenwich ) In the meantime I have been offered my own radio show on Meridian Radio .Might have a Phantom section. You could come on and still no one would see you.x

  10. Darren says:


    Now might be a good time to ask Nick if he can help you build an extension :-)

    But PLEASE ask him what he can do to get something happening in St. Alfege’s Park, its been too long and the Council are just sitting on their backsides.


  11. Jack Cross says:

    JL -
    my comments above notwithstanding, I completely agree with you. We must keep a very careful eye on the Hospital. Now that this cunning plan has been scuppered they will, as you say, be on the lookout for other fundraising schemes.

  12. Finsbury says:

    Much as we like to beat on our council, they have behaved honourably throughout this process in listening and acting on resdients’ concerns. And if I was being mischievious, perhaps GH found out that major Greenwich based public events may not necessarily create a payday for them given what happened during this summer.

    Finally, its been obvious that keeping small fragments of historical London intact under sympathetic stewardship (after many battles) is in fact the best money spinner of all viz. Borough Market, Smithfields, Spitalfields,

  13. Paul says:

    From comments elsewhere, it seems that GHE may still be planning to bulldoze the banana warehouse – which was one of the main reason that many of us objected. People like the Victorian Society objected strongly to this loss, for they reckoned those buildings from when the fruit and veg market was established are vital to an understanding of how the market worked, with goods brought in by boat and horse-drawn transport.

    unfortunately we can’t particularly trust Greenwich council officers, either – they agreed to the demolition of these buildings early on, which makes it quite difficult for them to backtrack.

    The irony is that GHE probably want to demolish these buildings because they don’t want to spend any money refurbishing them; yet they had already spent £1m on the redevelopment scheme before it went to a public enquiry, which probably doubled their costs and more. That money would have paid for a lot of rebuilding and restoration.

    Of course the fact traders won’t be forced out into another space for two years is a great thing – if they had, the market as we know it would probably be gone forever. But we all need to keep a very close eye on GHE.

  14. Jack Cross says:

    The Hospital said, during the so-called consultation exercise, that these buildings were falling-down dangerous. One of their staff looked me straight in the eye and said that to my face.
    Later on, they let the premises to the florist, proving that what had been said was a lie.
    Despite the nice name, Greenwich Hospital is an unpleasantly hard-nosed propert company, which is pefectly happy telling lies to get its way.

  15. Neil says:

    V good news.

    I have to say I disagree on the idea that there is now excess supply of hotel rooms around Greenwich. My experience of booking rooms for family at a few weeks notice has usually been that many hotels are already full, and prices are on the high side of average for those that are available.

  16. j garcia says:

    Neil’s point is absolutely spot on.
    My suspicions are that far from being put off by hotel overcapacity, GH realised that they
    can garner more rent from upgrading what they already have, as opposed to a unpopular and costly rebuild.
    For example,one of their BNP* managers at the recent meeting even envisaged expanding the number of stalls by developing Durnford Street.
    *(BNP as in Banque National de Paribas, their recently appointed estate management company).

  17. Franklin says:

    *BNP Paribas = Banque Nationale de Paris Paribas

    I’m pretty confident that the boutique hotel was projected 4-5 years ago to be financially viable, and no longer is seen as such, thanks in large part to the glut of hotel rooms that have come onstream in Greenwich in the intervening period. Otherwisw GHT would not have gone to all the bother and expense of taking the market redevelopment all the way to Eric Pickles’ desk.

    That said, I fully agree that we need to keep a close eye on GHT’s plans and make local opinion known – which means commenting on planning applications as well as grumbling on local blogs. ;-)

    But from what we’ve been told so far, what GHT is now proposing is MILES better than the wholesale ‘redevelopment’ of the market that we were faced with previously.

    Clearly, GHT has a lot of work to do to rebuild local trust and re-establish good relations with local residents. Let’s hope they embrace that challenge.