|Who is killing The Good Fairy of Portobello Road?|
Developers have set their their guns on a new target: The Good Fairy Market is to be demolished to give away to a large town house and two shops.
If you were as incredulous as we were with the planning permission given to the now All Saints shop, and hoped the council would re-think their planning policy for the area.... well think again, because another development is on the verge of being approved that again will change the character of the area for good. The Good Fairy Market at the top of Portobello Road ( opposite the Gold Pub) is now en route to be demolished with up to 50 traders evicted and to be replaced by a new build that has no architectural relation to the area in size and style; in essence a three-story block of shops and flats.
The site does need intervention and trading conditions certainly need to be improved. Yet, what escapes any sense is the cheer size of the new plan that will stand out from its neighbours for all the wrong reasons: the proposed building is large and in a grand "town-house" style, when the surrounding buildings are small and artisanal, there are no provisions for the traders to remain on site but instead there are two shop floors and a very large kitchen in the new very large basement - which looks like they will try and sneak through a change of use to A3 in the future. With the disappearance of yet another Arcade and no provision to keep it, this plan amounts to another blow to the character of the Portobello Market.
What is at stake here is the Portobello Market as we know and love. At this rate it will be a matter of a few short years before the whole of the Portobello Road becomes like Oxford Street. The Council ought to do better to protect this unique cultural and economic asset. Portobello is the 5th tourist destination in London and tourists do not come here to look at the same shop windows that they can see in their own hight streets of the globalised economy.
Critical mass is of essence here not only for this market but also for all streets markets across England. Developers have been able to storm through many much loved street markets despite the public outcry. The voice of dissatisfaction has to become louder, stronger and united if it is to be heard by local politicians and central government. Portobello market with its long history, recognition, size and diversity, found itself on the front-line of this debate. If this one is lost, there'll be no hope left for the others - we urge you to spread the word to support this shared cause.
You can find the Planning Application - Documents and Drawings here.
If you want the RBKC to know your views on this application you can comment it here.
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