Greenwich Market Saved

From Spencer Drury, PPC for Greenwich & Woolwich

Last Wednesday, Greenwich Council’s Planning Board unanimously rejected plans to ‘regenerate’ Greenwich Market by ripping up the cobbles, replacing a range of buildings (some 1950s and some historic) and building a 5 storey wood clad hotel. 
 
The planning application was supported by the local Labour MP, Nick Raynsford however, a range of people including Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Cllr Spencer Drury, Andrew Gilligan, market traders and Labour Councillors spoke against the plans. Mr Raynsford said the demolition and creation of fewer, larger shops was “a very welcome proposal” which would help to enhance the ‘character’ and ‘attractiveness’ of the town centre. Curiously, one local Labour Cllr spoke against the application despite being a member of the committee which had developed the plans and, according to the minutes, failing to register any objections when meetings of that committee took place. 
 
Spencer said “I appreciate that a new roof is needed for the market, but Greenwich is a unique area and to try to improve it by putting a modern shopping centre seemed nonsensical. I am exceptionally pleased that the market will retain its atmosphere and character for the near future and will campaign against any substantial change in the future. 
 
“Labour Councillors and the MP must be held responsible for the fact that the plans got this far. They should have intervened earlier to make clear what the people of the area wanted and it is possible the prospect of an election next year helped them to reconsider their position.”
 
“ Andrew Gilligan has come in for a lot of criticism over the years, but I think he can be justifiably pleased with his role in organising and promoting opposition to this scheme – I think the people of Greenwich can be grateful for his efforts, as otherwise the redevelopment may have gone ahead.”