Community group criticises council consultation on future of Queens Market
- Credit: LBN
A community group has won an extension to a consultation about redeveloping Queens Market after contacting the Recorder.
Newham Council has extended the deadline after the Friends of Queens Market (FQM) contacted the Recorder over the consultation on options to spruce the place up.
One option includes building a new market and 483 homes. The consultation began on November 2 and was due to end on December 11 but has been extended into January.
Sasha Laurel, who chairs FQM, said: “I don’t think the community would have got this extra time if we hadn’t gone to the Newham Recorder.
“It looked like they were ignoring our representations.”
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FQM had accused the town hall of not advertising the consultation enough.
A Newham Council spokesperson said the authority has been talking to traders and neighbours since 2019 while ads have been posted in the area and online.
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“The Queens Market programme represents the most significant investment in the area for a generation. It remains an important community asset,” she said.
The four other options are to keep the market as it is; modernise it and the nearby Hamara Ghar buildings; redevelop the pub as well as the market or build 124 homes.
Each option includes keeping sheltered housing at the Green Street site.
Trader Neil Stockwell said: “Out of five choices for the market, four involve demolitions and construction of apartments. Whatever they say, it will end up as luxury flats for investors or city commuters, not social housing for people on the housing list.”
The council’s spokesperson said the market would remain Newham’s “jewel in the crown” and any housing would comply with its policies which include commitments on social housing.
Shopper Maria Sexious said: “Look at Rathbone Market. It used to be a busy market. Since they surrounded it with luxury flats, it’s been dead.”
Newham does not own Rathbone Market, but its spokesperson said it is pushing the owner to do more to encourage business in Canning Town.
Saif Osmani said: “Does the council suspect its gentrification plans will be unpopular?”
Newham’s spokesperson said: “There is no gentrification taking place.”