There was cause for celebration at the end of October as a coalition of campaigners and protesters successfully beat off eviction notices in Ridley Road Market. This result came after weeks of anxiety for those affected and protests to voice their concerns.  

A delegation of small traders supported by the London Renters Union successfully pressured the landlord and property management company of the Ridley Road indoor market to drop the planned eviction of over 20 traders and 60 artists. Backed by the council and local MP Diane Abbott they wrung assurances out of Rainbow Properties that they will drop the evictions. This has temporarily stymied lucrative plans to turn the market building into luxury flats, a plan which would seriously affect many livelihoods and potentially undermine the viability of the whole market.

Hackney mayor, Phil Glanville claimed that the management company had cynically used a Community Protection Notice (CPN) as a pretext for closing this part of the market. A notice was served after a raid by Dalston Police in response to anti-social behaviour. There have been issues of anti-social behaviour and the property owners have claimed they have not got the resources to deal with them, but this example of from property profiteering at the expense of many local people would appear to many as the more serious form of anti-social behaviour.

The traders’ action took place after the council and police issued a written statement saying there was no intention of closing the Shopping Village or evicting traders. Furthermore the landlord’s decision to evict tenants at short notice was not a requirement of the Community Protection Notice (CPN) served by Dalston Police, as they had been claiming.

  

The London Renters Union speak for many when they say, “Planning permission has yet to be granted for the conversion of the market building into luxury flats. If the council chooses to allow the redevelopment of the site, it won’t be long before the rest of the market is disrupted. The Council should be working hard to ensure the legacy of such an important part of the Hackney community”. Sustainable Hackney would endorse this view and says, ‘Long live Ridley Road market.’  

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