Campaigners Stall Plans to Redevelop Historic Greenwich Market
Developers have announced plans to redevelop Greenwich Market – a historic market area in South-East London – by building a hotel and office space to make it “fit for the future”.
The plans, if approved, would introduce a 104-room hotel and new office space, and replace the market’s canopy with a glass roof, but keep the original structure. The development would clear the food court and reduce the number of stalls, and campaigners fear that this would threaten a number of livelihoods.
The market, which has 150 shops and food stalls and attracts around 7 million people each year, was granted the Royal Charter in 1700, and Greenwich Hospital Estates has been in ownership since 1849.
According to the BBC, Councillor Maureen O’Mara, who is supporting the campaign against the redevelopment, said:
“It does need a new roof, that’s what I said a year ago, and it needs Greenwich Hospital Estates to look after the fabric of the buildings that they own. But an institution that helps to attract at least seven million people a year does that really need change?”
A spokesman for Greenwich Hospital Estates said that their plan was not to run the market down, but make it “fit for the future”.
Although English Heritage have reportedly endorsed the redevelopment, Greenwich Council rejected the plans saying that it was “out of keeping with character of the West Greenwich Conservation Area” and would be “detrimental” to local views and add to traffic congestion.
A public consultation will begin shortly. Demolition would start in January 2013 if the plans go ahead, and the market would be closed for two years.
Greenwich is located in the South-East region of Greater London, and is perhaps most known for giving its name to Greenwich Mean Time and the Greenwich Meridian, as well as its maritime history.
There are currently 16 serviced office properties advertised on the officebroker.com website for the SE postcode, of which Greenwich is located.
Statistics show that in 2010, the average price of a serviced office workstation in this region is currently ┬ú190, with occupants opting for 5.5 workstations across an average license length of 8 months. In comparison, 2009 saw an average cost per workstation of ┬ú222 per month, with tenants choosing smaller offices of 4.9 workstations, over a marginally longer license length of 9 months.
But with four months left to run until the close of 2010, there is still plenty of time for this trend to change.