Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Labour in Fairfield and Kensington has launched a brand new campaign to tackle Kensington Market. It is well over 3 years since I first launched a campaign to get something done about this derelict site. You may remember the story in the newspapers, from before I was elected, where I was photographed with local Fairfield residents in front of the market, and a guy who worked there, I think in security, wandered out to see what was going on as we posed for the Echo photographer, and ended up in the shot himself!
The site has changed hands since then and various plans have come and gone, but I think we are on a solid path now. I went to meet Alan, the new owner of the front part of the site, at his office and we talked over his hopes for the market.
He wants to prepare a planning application for a supermarket on the site, and then if he is successful with the council, he will be able to offer the site, plus a bit more to the rear that he is offering in conjunction with his neighbour, to supermarkets as an "oven ready" project.
I have been to hundreds of residents meetings over the last 4 years and I knew this would be immensely popular with the good people of the area. We have now begun a big campaign, right across the ward, collecting signatures in support of a planning application for a supermarket on the site, in readiness for when the owner submits it. We have had several 100s back already - and only one against - and we have only delivered them to a portion of the area so far. TRAs are also asking to go door to door with petitions. It is great news all round. Let's hope Alan can finally pull this off with the support of local people.
(Photo: February 2006 looking terribly serious and cross)