AHMM Shepherd’s Bush Market transformation delayed by protests

Anti-project campaigners disrupted a Hammersmith and Fulham Council planning meeting this week, meaning it had to be adjourned without a verdict being reached.

AHMM submitted plans earlier this year to demolish a former homeless hostel, two shops on Goldhawk Road and various shops and stalls.

The practice’s proposals reconfigure the century-old market, currently used by some 90 traders, in a bid to boost footfall and upgrade facilities.

Affordable flats would also be provided on site alongside workspace, shops, cafés and other amenities.

Although 103 supporting representations have been made for the application, 126 objections were received before the council meeting, with height, scale and look among the issues cited.

Transport for London (TfL) raised concerns about the impact of the scheme on Shepherd’s Bush Overground station while Historic England said it would be ‘visually dominant’ and diminish appreciation of Pennard Road terraces.

Nonetheless, planning officers recommended approval of the application, concluding that the ‘substantial’ public benefits outweighed any harm they were able to identify.

However, councillors were unable to vote on the scheme after the intervention of protestors.

A recording of Tuesday’s meeting (5 December) shows the chair becoming increasingly unhappy with contributions from the audience. After asking protesters to ‘please remain quiet’, councillor Omid Miri called for security and announced: ‘I am going to adjourn the meeting … the meeting is adjourned.’

The BBC reported that a group calling itself Protect Shepherd’s Bush Market was campaigning against the redevelopment, believing it would destroy the area’s character.

A council spokesperson said: ‘We’re disappointed that the democratic process of the planning and development control committee meeting was disrupted.

‘Hammersmith and Fulham Council has received more than 251 consultation responses about the redevelopment of Shepherd’s Bush Market from all corners of the community since the application was submitted on 11 May 2023.

‘This follows more than two and a half years of consultation events from the applicant. We have listened and analysed all the consultation responses, and we have sought independent advice from numerous experts to evaluate the proposed scheme. Members of the public were also invited to speak at the meeting.

‘We will shortly announce a new date, time and location for the meeting to resume.’

Andrew Thorpe, managing director of Shepherd’s Bush developer Yoo Capital, said: ‘We share the disappointment of the Shepherd’s Bush Market traders that the meeting was postponed.

‘Over the last three years we have worked hard with the traders to create plans for the future of the market, and we know that they were hoping to have their voices heard yesterday and for years of uncertainty to come to an end.

‘We look forward to reengaging with the council planning committee at the appropriate time and will continue to support the traders and work with the local community.’

AHMM declined to comment.