Shepherd’s Bush Market traders have taken their battle to overturn a government-imposed compulsory purchase order (CPO) to the Court of Appeal.
The want to overturn the order granted by former Communities Secretary of State Eric Pickles , which appeared to go against the advice of government inspector following a public inquiry.
The market traders object to redevelopment plans by property developer Orion, which will include private block of luxury flats next to the market.
James Horada had described the court battle as a “fight for the livelihoods of market traders”.
He is the chairman of the Shepherd's Bush Market Tenants’ Association and was at the hearing on March 3.
He was cautiously optimistic following the day-long appeal, which was heard before three judges, saying: “It was a positive day, the judges seemed to understand there was a very real threat to the tenants.”
The tenants’ barrister David Woolfe and soliciters Leigh Day raised concerns over the CPO and argued the Secretary of State had failed to provide reasons for its granting.
Mr Horada said the failure to assure a rent cap for traders was also discussed, and the impact this could have on the market. He said: “Businesses like fruit and veg and fabrics do not have a large mark-up and the margins are small.
"It means you need to keep costs down and if you force up the costs of overheads you will have to increase prices and the market will lose its appeal. There is no mechanism that gives a rent cap in the long-term.”
Barristers also discussed the condition of the arches at the market, and the responsibility of their upkeep. They have been falling into disrepair and according to Mr Horada there is no provision to improve them as part of the development.
He warned: “Tenants in arches will end up with retail space not fit for retail,or they will have to pay to patch up the problems themselves. In the end tenants will leave and the redeveloper will get their hands on it and cash in on it.”
Commenting on the hearing, an Orion spokesperson has said: “We respect the legal process that is taking place and look forward to the verdict of the appeal. However, we are not commenting on the legal process while it remains ongoing.
“The verdict will, in due course, allow us to provide much needed clarity to traders and local residents on our exciting plans for the regeneration of the market.”
No date has been set in relation to a verdict.
A petition on the change.org website to called Save the Shepherd’s Bush Market Businesses is zeroing in on 10,000 supporters.