Time Out food market rejected after residents’ concerns

Thriving local businesses in the proposed area. Pic: Craig Nagy (Flickr)

The media organisation behind the Time Out magazine titles has suffered a major setback after its plans for a food and drink market in Tower Hamlet were rejected due to concerns from residents.

The plans included 17 restaurants, a cooking academy, four bars, a shop and an art gallery.

Residents lodged more than 70 objections regarding the location of the proposed marketplace. This eventually led to Tower Hamlet council’s decision for Time Out’s plans being rejected.

The Spitalfields Society is one of the organisations that had objected to building the Time Out market at the planned location.

The Spitalfields Society chair, Rupert Wheeler told Eastlondonlines: “The residents have won a significant battle in their fight to preserve the unique character of their area against a rising tide of overdevelopment and mass proliferation of drinking establishments leading to increased crime and antisocial behaviour.”

The plans were based on the successful Time Out Market which opened in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2014 and attracts more than  two million visitors a year – but it is situated the outskirts of the city.

The council’s meeting of its licencing committee on February 28 heard speeches about how the marketplace would endanger local businesses and community organisations.

The other main concern of the residents included over-development and the increased crime rate that may be a result of alcohol being served.

The Spitalfields Society also stated that they are supportive of restaurants and creative enterprises opening in the area but this would have been one of the largest drinking and eating establishments in London and would pose problems for residents.

The proposed establishment would hurt local businesses. Pic: Garry Knight (Flickr)

The area in which the market was planned is part of Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ).

This zone means that Tower Hamlets council is obliged to limit the distribution of business licenses in the area. The limitations are enforced taking into consideration the impact businesses and organisations have in the area.

Conservative councillor Peter Golds, who chairs the licensing committee, explained that the address, 106 Commercial Street, fell within the CIZ zone and the proposed market would lead to issues with the welfare of the locals. The road traffic of the area would also worsen due to constant supply deliveries and the lack of a planned entry and exit to the premises.

He said: “The licensing panel were concerned at the impact on residents due to the scale and size of the application and the effect that it would have on the Cumulative Impact Zone by which the council regulates licensed premises. This would be a very large outlet on an already crowded Commercial Street. There is also only one entrance for customers and all deliveries which would we believe adversely affect the area.”

In October 2016, Time Out website had already disclosed its plans for the market as a done deal. Its editors said: “Time Out is setting up shop in the East End. London’s very own Time Out Market will open at 106 Commercial Street in the second half of 2017.”

A spokesperson for Time Out said: “We are disappointed that our license application was rejected at the first hearing with the Tower Hamlets licensing subcommittee. Since our initial application, we have worked diligently to listen to the local community and to take their suggestions onboard in order to agree on a way forward together.”

More positively for Time Out, their plans for a similar marketplace in Miami were accepted.

One Response

  1. Huw Rowlands March 10, 2017

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