Brixton Arches traders appeal for your help

The former A&C Deli on Atlantic Road, now the home of the Brixton Pound

The former A&C Deli on Atlantic Road, now the home of the Brixton Pound

Traders fighting to save their businesses in Brixton’s railway arches are appealing to supporters to object to Network Rail’s planning application which would allow the company to make the changes it wants.

You can comment on the application online. Your comments can only be taken into account if they address certain issues. See end of post for a list.

The application to Lambeth council has not been approved, yet Network Rail has already given its smaller tenants until August to get out.

The traders expressed frustration at the lack of information and written agreements, fearing that Network Rail could easily go back on a promise to let them return – but with higher rents.

“There is only one legal document that we have received from Network Rail,” said Malek Menad, director at Denmay Fabrics. “There’s no documents about our new lease, as they promised us.”

H&T Pawnbrokers are not included in the eviction, but declined to comment further. It is thought that betting shop William Hill are also not included.

This exception sparked outrage among other traders.

Ray Murphy, owner of Budget Carpets, expressed incredulity at the news: “The most morally decrepit businesses, the ones that leech off the poor, are the ones that are staying in the Railway Arches?”

“It’s all about the money,” he said.

Traders are now considering their next moves and will meet next week to discuss their campaign which has seen Network Rail change its original approach, with an apparent “consultation” and promises that the traders will be able to return.

But the uncertainty its plans have generated have already been a factor in the closure of A&C Deli, a long-time Brixton institution, whose shop is now used by the Brixton Pound.

Fishmongers L.S. Mash and Sons have also said that they will have to close if they are evicted, owing to the cost of equipping a new shop.

Some traders, like the Moroccan Cafe and the Brixton Pound, are mobile enough to not depend on their shops, and plan to return once the refurbishment is complete.

Tom Shakhli, general manager at the Brixton Pound, said: “We’ve existed without a shop for years.”

But he added: “We’ve been able to play a very social role in an otherwise commercial area. We want that to continue but it’s going to be difficult to get somewhere that allows us the same visibility.”

He hoped the landlords would preserve the arches as a space benefitting Brixton socially as well as commercially: “I’m adamant that this street should not just be sold to the highest bidder.”

Murphy urged supporters of the traders to publicise the latest move by Network Rail to force the company to act responsibly towards its small tenants and Brixton itself.

Calling the eviction “economic and social cleansing”, he added that the disappearance of the Arches’ tenants could harm Brixton’s appeal to newcomers.

“If you take the heart out of a body then it’s dead isn’t it? They moved here knowing what was there.”

Menad, who moved to Brixton from Algeria 30 years ago, said: “If you remove me from Brixton, I’ll be a foreigner again.”

 

How to object …

To be valid and to be considered by the council’s planning department, objections must be written in a certain way and address specific issues.

Do not include any signatures or personal telephone numbers/email addresses. If they are included. they will removed for information security purposes.

Inappropriate or defamatory comments are likely to be removed.

 

How to make an informed comment

View the plans before you comment.

Keep your comments relevant.

Only comments relating to planning issues can be taken into account.

 

Matters which ARE relevant include:

Impact on local area

Highway matters, traffic access visibility and parking

Provides/removes facilities

Provides/removes housing

Removes an eyesore

Is the application contrary to or following the Local plan or other government policies?

Loss of light

Improves/degrades tourist facilities

Noise created once the development is complete

In keeping/not in keeping with local area

Over development

Privacy/overlooking

Provides/retains jobs

Residential amenity

Sets precedent

Effect on trees and wildlife

 

Matters which are NOT relevant include:

Effect on property value or property maintenance

Loss of view

Private covenants

Commercial competition

Morals and motives.

About the Author

Financial journalist living in Brixton. I'm interested in just about anything! If you have a story about Brixton or anything else, feel free to contact me at anguspeters09@gmail.com Read my articles at http://www.pensions-expert.com/ Blog: http://anguspetersclipsnstuff.wordpress.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/peters_angus

9 Comments on "Brixton Arches traders appeal for your help"

  1. Eleonora Claps March 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm ·

    Hello! It looks like the Planning Application page is currently down — very unhelpful! But you can still send your objection to:planning@lambeth.gov.uk.

  2. Darcy Vanhinsbergh March 9, 2016 at 11:04 am ·

    Anyone know why you can’t get on the site? The link is blocked???

  3. Saamah February 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm ·

    Hello all. The Planning statement says that 18 of the 21 tennants have said they would return. Is that true? That would be really good if so, but if the rents are going to rocket up, that’s not very likely, is it? I’m wondering anyone has any insight on that.

  4. Graham February 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm ·

    Is Ekcovision being evicted ?
    They only moved in after Network Rail had made their initial announcement which always seemed a bit odd.

    • Big A February 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm ·

      I believe it’s a smart move as existing tenants have 1st refusal…

  5. Dawn Kalu February 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm ·

    I support the Brixton Arches Traders. How easy it is for national rail to offer traders that they can come back if they will pay higher rents. They know very well that it is unlikely a trader can vacate their shop, live on nothing for months and then return happy to pay more from their non earnings. It is a slow and guaranteed death. The fishmongers and the deli have been there since time and are landmark shops where people who live in, or outside Brixton come to shop. I don’t want to see Brixton Arches rented to upmarket clothes shops or Lush or god forbid, more phone shops. I don’t want Brixton to look like any other high street. The going of the Deli was tragic. There is no comparable place as far as I can see. I am shocked that William Hill and the Pawnbrokers are welcome to stay and particularly William Hill who watch with no emotion the poorest and most desperate people slide into destitution. National Rail cannot run itself successfully so now it wants to make an easy buck and take the heart out of Brixton. Resident of 38 years.

    • Richard February 27, 2016 at 10:47 am ·

      It is Network Rail that are doing this not National Rail. Network Rail are owned by the Government and operate the infrastructure the trains operate on such as the track, stations, signalling etc. Network Rail is the collective term for the train operators that run the trains. These are predominately private companies such as Virgin Trains. It is not them that are responsible for the rail arches as in this case but Network Rail which is important if submitting an objection, as it will most probably fail if the company being objected about is incorrect.

      • Richard February 27, 2016 at 10:50 am ·

        Whoops even i got them confused -correct version:

        It is Network Rail that are doing this not National Rail. Network Rail are owned by the Government and operate the infrastructure the trains operate on such as the track, stations, signalling etc. National Rail is the collective term for the train operators that run the trains. These are predominately private companies such as Virgin Trains. It is not them that are responsible for the rail arches as in this case but Network Rail which is important if submitting an objection, as it will most probably fail if the company being objected about is incorrect.

  6. Ruth February 26, 2016 at 4:17 pm ·

    In compiling objections, it’s incredibly important to ensure that they’re the kind the Planning department deems “relevant”, otherwise the objection is dismissed. Please be sure to consider this in compiling your response, as it will give the objection more weight! There’s good lists as a reference here:
    http://www.torbay.gov.uk/index/yourbusiness/planning/developmentmanagement/commentingonapp.htm
    http://planninglawblog.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-object.html

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