Tenants at Shepherd’s Bush Market have spoken of their relief after controversial plans for its redevelopment were finally ditched.
Proposals by Orion to force through compulsory purchase orders (CPO) to move traders and build luxury flats have been permanently shelved, with new managing developers U+I Group PLC promising to work and consult with traders in the futre.
For James Horada, the chairman of the Shepherd’s Bush Market Tenants’ Association, the overwhelming emotion is not one of victory. He said: “We are relieved that Orion’s plans are no more.
“Fundamentally it has not been a game we have won here. It’s been a battle which ultimately we should never have had to fight.
“We shouldn’t have had to fight to remain when we have been established there for decades.”
Mr Horada said dealings with U+I have been different from his dealings with Orion, and was “cautiously optimistic” following preliminary talks with the new group.
“There’s no scheme for Shepherd’s Bush Market at this moment in time but U+I will in the long run probably wish to do a scheme,” Mr Horada continued. “They’re not market operators, they’re more redevelopers. In the long run they will want to use the land for some sort of development.
“But U+I has sort of said to us we’re going to sort out the problems, raise footfall in Shepherd’s Bush Market, get businesses back up to where it should be and take it from there.
“This is a new chapter basically. We’ve had these problems U+I has to win our trust back over the next couple of months.
“There are a lot of issues, concerns and disputes that have to be resolved, and we will see if they can be resolved.
“Once these matters have been resolved then as time progresses on our focus on a better Shepherd’s Bush Market, with improved diversity and increased footfall.
“But they’re talking to us rather than imposing a scheme on us.
“They understand a huge amount of confidence has been lost between the market community and developers, and they want to start anew.”
And taking an additional pop at the former developers, Mr Horada added: “They wanted to build 200 flats and inject £4 million into the market.
“The irony is they have caused so much upset that proposals to inject £4m is negligible because of the mess they have caused. They have done more bad than good.
“Orion were very unsympathetic to our requirements and very unmovable. They only had one scheme, and without a CPO they had no scheme .“
The traders won a key Court of Appeal in March against a CPO imposed on them by Secretary of State Eric Pickles .
Richard Upton, deputy CEO of U+I, said: "Following conversations with the local authority and traders, we are looking at ways to improve the existing market.
"This is a new start, with a new team led by U+I, and as such, we will not be bringing forward the previous scheme.
"We look forward to consulting with traders and the local community over the coming months to make improvements to the existing market and resolve current matters with the market tenants before consulting and discussing any new proposals that may come forward."
getwestlondon has approached Orion for comment.