AN INQUIRY into the council’s use of compulsory purchase orders in the regeneration of Shepherd's Bush Market will go ahead despite traders' calls to postpone it.
Inspector Ava Wood decided at a pre-inquiry meeting on Thursday last week (25) to go ahead with the independent probe scheduled for September 17.
It will consider whether Hammersmith and Fulham Council has fairly implemented CPOs it has issued to 13 shops and 140 stallholders to make way for a £150 million redevelopment of the 99-year-old market.
However, solicitor Annabel Graham Paul, representing shopkeepers in Goldhawk Road, asked for the inquiry to be held back until after the results of last week’s judicial review.
The High Court hearing must decide whether the council’s planning permission can be upheld since the Shepherd’s Bush Market development relies on a missing planning framework which was quashed by an earlier judicial review last year. The result is pending; it could take anything from a few weeks to several months.
Mrs Graham Paul said: "I do not want to have to challenge the inquiry’s recommendation if it is at odds with the High Court ruling. The postponement is not substantial, only a few months. There has been so much unnecessary expenditure and uncertainty already."
Mrs Wood, an architect, who will report back to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, rejected the delay, saying: “I’m inclined to proceed.”
Developer Orion plans to demolish 13 shops in Goldhawk Road to create a new entrance to the revamped market, which will feature more stalls, a new public square near Uxbridge Road, 13 mews houses and nearly 200 luxury flats.
The council says the major redevelopment is backed by many traders - who have all been offered new stalls or units within the new site - and will inject more than £3million a year into the local economy.
The inquiry is expected to last two weeks. It will consider whether the large-scale scheme will improve and promote the area for the wider public, if it is financially viable, and if the council and developer have adequately negotiated with affected landlords.
Solicitors representing the council will go up against those representing traders in the market and Goldhawk Road, Notting Hill Housing Association which manages Lime Grove House in Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter.