A shopkeeper says she will take her fight to the European Court of Human Rights to save businesses threatened by the Shepherd’s Bush Market redevelopment.
Opponents have questioned why developers Orion and Development Securities are pressing on with plans to revamp the 100-year-old market and build 200 new flats when the results of a public inquiry, which could halt the £150million scheme, are yet to be published.
The developers announced earlier this month they had secured £44.1m to purchase the majority of the land from Transport for London to allow the project to begin.
Audrey Boughton, whose grandfather opened Cooke’s Pie and Mash in 1899, owns one of 13 shops in Goldhawk Road and 140 stall holders who face compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) from Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
An independent inspector has probed whether the authority appropriately used these powers to seize the properties. Eric Pickles, secretary of state for communities and local government, is expected to make a final decision next month.
Mrs Boughton said: “I think the CPOs will be excluded.
“The inspector has been very thorough and she realised CPOs are used for HS2s and Wembley Stadiums, not for a housing development where the only people going to get rich are the council and developers.
“I’m fighting this all the way. We’re appealing the second judicial review which we lost last year and I will take this to the European Court of Human Rights.
“It’s a lot of hard work and money but we’re not giving up.”
John Hodges, development director at Orion Shepherd’s Bush, said: “Throughout our involvement with Shepherd’s Bush Market, we have worked hard to capture the views and opinions of the diverse range of traders, local residents, customers and others who use and enjoy the market.
“This is a complex and lengthy development but one we are convinced will bring enormous benefit to the local area.
“We are encouraged by the positive reaction we have had from Shepherd’s Bush residents and market users during our most recent public consultation and continue to work with the traders to create a bright future for the market.”
James Horada, whose draper’s market stall has been run by three generations of his family, said Orion needs to do more to work with traders, who fear their leases will now be shortened and rates increase.
He said: “The concept of regenerating the market is good but Orion is focusing on these luxury apartments and we see this as a conflict of interest.
“Many stall holders are threatened; they are being removed and it’s uncertain what premises will be replaced. Some have spent around £40,000 on their businesses over the years, and the uncertainty leaves them in a panic.
“There are businesses already moving out. I’m sad to say, I suspect the current businesses will be a small majority in 10 years time.”
Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, called the project a ‘land grab by a get-rich-quick developer which is destroying independent small businesses and affordable homes’.
Council leader Nicholas Botterill said: “The vox pop out there is very much in support of getting on with this development.
“Most people think it will be a big improvement to the area. It needs some proper investment and this is a way of doing that.
“This is not a land grab. It needs residential properties to make the development work. It’s all been done to preserve the market.
“Why go to all this grief to preserve the market if the council didn’t want to support it?”