Judge quashes Shepherd's Bush planning document

A High Court judge has quashed one of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham’s key planning documents following a legal challenge by a group of local retailers.

Shepeherds Bush Market: outline plans approved earlier this year
Shepeherds Bush Market: outline plans approved earlier this year

The group of shop, café and restaurant owners challenged the council’s Shepherd’s Bush Market Area Planning Brief – Market and Theatre Regeneration, which would have paved the way for the demolition of their existing premises.

On Friday, Mr Justice Wilkie ruled that in preparing the document the council failed to follow the proper procedure for adopting such an important policy document.

He said that the council failed to identify the document in advance as an "area action plan", and that as a result failed to consider whether it was in accordance with the existing development plan for the area.

And he found that it failed to apply its mind to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment should be carried out prior to adopting the document on 27 October 2010.

As a result, the council will be forced to reconsider the matter, potentially placing a stumbling block in the way of the redevelopment, for which outline planning permission has since been granted to developer Orion Shepherd’s Bush Ltd.

The ruling could prove a setback if and when Orion seeks to secure full permission to proceed with its plans.

The council hopes ultimately to enhance the markets and surrounding land as a mix of small shops, market stalls, leisure uses, housing and offices, but, under the planning brief, it earmarked the existing premises at 30-52 Goldhawk Road, which do not currently form part of the market, for demolition, with their occupants facing forced relocation.

Thirteen freehold and leasehold owners of the properties opposed to the scheme banded together to bring a court challenge to the council’s policy, arguing that it has "no clue on the history of Shepherd’s Bush".

The council takes a view that the Goldhawk Road premises are of "poor visual quality" and no longer appropriate to the Shepherd Bush townscape, and its policy envisages relocating business there to new premises within the redevelopment.

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