Traders fear for Upton Park market: new appeal for support as council consider fresh plans

The Friends of Queen’s Market are urging residents for support during council planning meetings to secure the future of the 110-year-old street market.

The organisation, formed in 2005 by residents, traders and shoppers to protect the market in Upton Park, opposed plans during public hearings at Newham Council’s Dockside offices and it will be discussed again, alongside that of the West Ham Football club site, today (September 28) at 10am.

The site has been labelled a “strategic development site” in the core strategy which the Friends see as a threat to the market, having seen off development plans in 2009.

Saif Osmani, co-ordinator of Friends of Queen’s Market, said: “The protection of Queen’s Market is of great concern to local people and we have already seen off a major development scheme.

“This traditional London street market is very popular and important because it provides for a diverse community, offering afforable healthy food and is a unique social hub.

“As Westfield Stratford City opens, the council’s planning strategy risks sweeping away local people’s needs, independent small shops and the community’s assets.”

Saif adds that the core strategy document is “unknown to the vast majority of people” and it is “over-technical for the average Newham resident or trader, who will be directly affected by its eventual outcome.”

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But Newham Council assured residents their market is not under threat and the inclusion of the market in the council’s planning strategy was necessary.

Cllr Ian Corbett, executive member for environment and East Ham Central ward member, said: “Newham Council remains fully committed to the future of Queens Market. This commitment is explicitly mentioned in the Core Strategy.

“The Core Strategy is currently being looked at by the Planning Inspectorate as a matter of routine to ensure it is sound.

“The future of Queens Market has never been in doubt and it is irresponsible of people to scaremonger when we are discussing people’s livelihoods.

“Newham’s Core Strategy has been evolving since 2008 and since that time has been subject to a great deal of public consultation both through community and stakeholder events, including council surveys, members’ surgeries as well as statutory notices and public reports.”