Plans to redevelop Chrisp Street market into a modern retail, leisure and residential complex will see 75% of the 650 new homes for private sale with only 25% social housing it was revealed at a consultation open day this weekend. The Council’s target is 50% with the minimum 35%.
A representative of Telford Homes, the developer behind the scheme, said the lower figure was due to the investment in public facilities.
However, in its literature Poplar HARCA, the social landlord that owns the land, said it will guarantee that all existing shopkeepers and market traders will be offered a space in the new scheme with many concerned they would be priced out or not welcomed back.
One representative said shopkeepers would be offered ten-year leases at current rates, but admitted the complex – barring the social homes – would then be handed over to Telford Homes to manage on completion.
Leaseholders worried about being forcibly bought out (through a compulsory purchase order) and unable to stay in the area would be able to negotiate a package so they could, it was said, however there was currently no policy guaranteeing this.
He said: “No one will be forced out of the area against their will,” referring to one leaseholder who has lived on the market square for more than three decades. He said they would either be offered some sort of shared ownership scheme to move into one of the more expensive flats in the new development or helped to find an equivalent sized ex-council property to buy within ten minutes walk.
Most social tenants had already been ‘decanted’, but there were still a few social tenants still bidding on new places to move to, he said.
Planning permission is expected to be submitted in June with work due to commence by the end of 2017.
The majority of the area surrounding the market square will be demolished with exceptions to the Ideas Store and the shops and flats above on the north side of the square and along the path to Cordelia Street. HARCA said the shops that remain will have their fronts modernised.
The development will be carried out in two phases with the north side of the square demolished and rebuilt first and the south side to follow.
It is proposed market traders will be allowed to set up along Vasey Path – between the market square and East India Dock Road – during the first phase.
Shopkeepers and traders will be disappointed that no car parking facility has been included to replace what will be lost. This was their biggest complaint in a survey carried out by TH Renters in 2015.
And while existing shopkeepers and independent units are championed in the literature it admits to pursuing ‘established’ retailers (read chain stores) and a major food store for the development, both of which could have a negative impact on market traders and small retail units ability to survive.
The public facilities that it was suggested warranted offering only 25% social housing were listed as a Sure Start centre, for toddlers, and a ‘community space building on the success of the Ideas Store’.
HARCA also hopes to develop a night-time economy with a cinema and other entertainment provided in and around the square including restaurants, cafes, drinking and meeting areas.
Chrisp Street campaigners will be holding a meeting to discuss the proposals and their response on Wednesday, 1st June at the Chrisp Street Ideas Store at 7pm.