Admiral Vernon Arcade: new battle ahead for the Portobello Market

Appeal to be decided by the HM Inspectorate on July 28, in Bristol.

Campaigners, property developers, legal teams and the HM Inspectorate are taking their positions for the appeal lodged by the developer against the Admiral Vernon Arcade RBK&C decision in favour of the residents.

As reported here before (Victory for the Portobello Campaigners):

..”In a remarkable change of tack, the RCK&C gave a  sounding victory to the Save the Portobello Road Market campaign. 


In a truly unexpected move the councillors decided unanimously to vote against the  lifting of a previously imposed 2 day only trading condition on the basement area of the Admiral Vernon. Such a change would have open up the way for the site to trade seven days per week without restriction and ultimately for the  space to be rented to yet another Clone Retail Outlet. 


The Council's Planning Department had made a recommendation to grant the change, but instead the vote stood on the side of the residents and to the submitted 53 Objection Letters.”


Barely a few months have gone by and an appeal has been lodged to the HM Inspectorate. They will reach their decision on the July28. Decisions taken by the HM Inspectorate can override local ones, so campaigners are urging supporters to fight it.

To clarify, the appeal is to reverse the two days trade restriction currently in place for the property's basement. Taking into consideration the precedent already set out by the applicant (re: All Saints) means that the apparently innocent lifting of the restriction is seen as suspicious and as a means to an end and not an end in itself. If they win, we can suppose it will be the first step towards getting rid of the antique dealers and open up the way for another giant retailer.

Besides the obvious damage to the Market, we'd also be loosing out on street traders as they would no longer be allowed to set up stall in front of the shop. We cannot underline enough the urgency to fight this appeal, for if the Admiral Vernon goes, the same owners will follow suit with their other properties - it will be the kiss of death for market in the southern end of the Portobello Rd.

The damage would be long lasting, irreversible in fact. No one in the area is demanding for more clone shops to move in. This is something that is being forced down the residents, simply by the desires of a property owner who by now has a significant property portfolio in the area. People choose to live here or visit the area because of what is currently on offer. It's the diversity of this vibrant place that is attractive and appealing, not the Cloned high street that can be found elsewhere. Why a single individual (the applicant) would choose to change that against everyone else's wishes is disturbing.

RBK&C policy on Portobello in the 2010 Core Strategy is very clear about safeguarding the merits of the Market in its diversity and uniqueness. The Council has for the first time made clear that it embraces its own remit for the area. Crucially, the RBK&C decision was also taken in the interests of the residents. Yet, despite residents opposition, the appeal argues that they will not suffer from the change. It begs the question: are residents status not the same under the eyes of the HM Inspectorate as with the RBK&C ? We truly hope they are as we hope that the Councils own Core Strategy will not be overlooked by the decision makers in Bristol.

Campaigners have posted a letter that interested parties may want to look at, in order to oppose the appeal. You can find it here.


If you want to make your views write all letters to be addressed to:

Via email (address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to:

HM Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/19 Eagle Wing
Temple Way House
2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN.

Dear Planning Inspector

Planning Appeal:141-149 Portobello Rd London W11 2DY
Reference: App/K5600/A/11/2154885.

If you want to look at the grounds for the appeal, you can see it here.  = Appeal Form-760536.pdf

For all other Planning documents see them here.

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