Despite a massive internet campaign to save it Camden Stables Market a central point in the UK's alternative scene has been lost. Iconic shops like Black Rose, and Cyberdog are to go. More than 10,000 people have added their names to an online petition to save it. The massively higher new rents plus the glassy buildings inside will seriously alter the structure of the market and the area. It was wonderful use of Victorian buildings now it will be a souless hell. Rumour has it that the ultimate aim is to push out many of traders and eventually urn some of the area into apartments :
Published 12 October 2006
Stables plans win traders' backing despite 'shopping mall' warning
THE campaign against the £12 million redevelopment of the landmark Stables Market collapsed on Thursday night as planners gave permission for building work to begin.
In a split vote, councillors allowed landowners to build a glass complex next to railway sidings in Chalk Farm Road, Camden Town.
Barring an expensive legal appeal, it marks the end of a bitter battle between those traders who want the market to stay as it is and managers Stables Market Limited, whose investors include millionaire clothing tycoon Richard Caring.
The proposals will cut back some of the railway arches to create new retail units and make changes to land surrounding the historic Gin Building and Horse Hospital. They caused a storm of protest, with more than 4,000 supporters signing an online petition.
But the Save The Stables Market Campaign has struggled to maintain a public face and only one speaker addressed Thursday’s crucial planning meeting.
Stefan James, from nearby Harmood Street, said: “This will completely change the nature of the market. Camden’s alternative culture and individuality will be lost. We don’t want glass buildings.”
His protest was outflanked by stallholders who spoke in favour of the new designs. Many signed a petition in favour.
Stallholder Franck Coido said: “The current application will give the market a much-needed facelift and provide us with better-quality stalls in a higher-quality environment.”
Trader Thierry Durieux added: “The proposals are for a new, up-to-date market for Camden.
“They include many small market stalls, providing improved facilities for traders which are badly needed.”
Labour ward councillor Pat Callaghan opposed the “very dominant” proposals. She said: “This is a matter of respecting the setting of the listed buildings.”
Planning officials approved a similar scheme in 2003, so, even if councillors had rejected the latest plans, landowners could have pressed ahead with a large-scale revamp.
After a two-hour discussion with planning officials, councillors voted 6-4 in favour of the proposals.
Planning chairwoman Conservative councillor Dawn Somper said afterwards: “We absolutely support the desire to preserve the independent and alternative attraction and feel of Stables Market – rather than it looking like a typical high street – and also its economic importance to Camden Town.”
Suki Jacobs, from the Stables Market campaign, whose husband is a stallholder, said: “The planned building will resemble a shopping mall. It doesn’t make any sense.
“I have lost faith in English Heritage. Precisely whose heritage do they protect?”
The campaign has been marked by long slow starvation of the type of edgy and interesting stalls that make Camden interesting
They were forced to evacuate their Victorian arches to make way for a multi-million pound redevelopment.
Stallholders were given until the end of August to move out but market management said last week major work such as the demolition of the arches won’t begin for another month.
Instead, work has begun on dismantling some of the temporary shops opposite the arches.
Tensions are mounting as the disparate traders adjust to their new positions, with many claiming they have been moved to a hardly-used tunnelled alleyway while the refurbishment takes place.
They say their regular customers can no longer find them.
One man, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s become such a joke. My new shop is a third the size of my old shop and they are asking for more money. They call this part of the market death row because nobody comes here.”
But Luke Akehurst, speaking for the market management, said most traders will not face rent increases.
GALLERY owner Alex Proud has unveiled plans for a glittering new bar in the listed Horse Hospital at the heart of Stables Market in Camden Town. ...
The forum here traces the whole sorry saga.