Save Ridley Road: Campaigners protect east London historic shopping village from flats development

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Ridley Road Shopping Village in Dalston was placed under threat after the building’s owners put forward plans to redevelop the premises in 2018.

Plans to turn one of east London’s most famous indoor markets into luxury flats have been put to a halt following a successful community campaign.

Ridley Road Shopping Village in Dalston was placed under threat after the building’s owners put forward plans to redevelop the premises in 2018.

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Ridley Road Shopping Village in Dalston was placed under threat after the building’s owners put forward plans to redevelop the premises in 2018. Credit: Hackney CouncilRidley Road Shopping Village in Dalston was placed under threat after the building’s owners put forward plans to redevelop the premises in 2018. Credit: Hackney Council
Ridley Road Shopping Village in Dalston was placed under threat after the building’s owners put forward plans to redevelop the premises in 2018. Credit: Hackney Council | Credit: Hackney Council

This sparked a huge backlash from anti-gentrification campaigners as the market is home to a number of beloved independent businesses and traders.

The road also recently featured in the BBC hit drama Ridley Road, which tells the story of the rise in facism in London in the 60s, and the brave ‘62 Group’ who fought against the far-right movement.

The Save Ridley Road campaign fought for the building to be listed as an asset of community value and this was backed by Hackney Council.

The developer, Rainbow Properties, has since withdrawn its proposals and has now agreed to let Hackney Council take over the running of the market on a 15-year lease.

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The building will be refurbished, with existing traders allowed to stay in place.

The mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville said: “By acquiring a lease for the privately-owned indoor market at the Ridley Road Shopping Village – home to a number of independent businesses and traders and which has previously been under threat from redevelopment – the council can support local traders and businesses and strengthen Ridley Road’s long-term future.

“Bringing the shopping village and the street market together under the council’s stewardship will strengthen Ridley Road’s position at the heart of Dalston’s economy for the long-term - they will complement each other and will both be managed in the interests of local traders, businesses and residents.

“This is just the latest in a line of positive investments the Council is making in Dalston, which will safeguard much-loved local places such as Ridley Road and protect what makes the area truly special.”

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Hackney councillors including Cllr Mete Coban, sixth from right, and Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, centre, unveil new Stoke Newington LTN. Credit: Mete CobanHackney councillors including Cllr Mete Coban, sixth from right, and Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, centre, unveil new Stoke Newington LTN. Credit: Mete Coban
Hackney councillors including Cllr Mete Coban, sixth from right, and Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, centre, unveil new Stoke Newington LTN. Credit: Mete Coban | Credit: Mete Coban

Cllr Guy Nicholson, deputy mayor of Hackney, said: “This intervention is great news for market traders, who will gain access to new and improved stalls, better toilet facilities and purpose-built storage units to keep their produce fresh.

“The council had already designated the building as an asset of community value, but by taking a long-term lease on part of the building following its refurbishment, it can help protect existing independent businesses in a much-improved building and under the council’s management.”

Save Ridley Road welcomed the news, tweeting: “After years of uncertainty and so much work by so many this is a HUGE victory. For traders, campaigners, the whole borough.”

The group added: “There’s a lot still to be clarified. We want to see traders involved in every step of the process as the council takes over the Indoor Market.

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“But this is still a MASSIVE victory for anti-gentrification campaigners across Hackney and the whole city.

“So let’s celebrate it!”

Under the plans, approved on Monday night, the council will take on the lease and management of the ground floor market and its 40 stalls.

The workspaces on the first and second floors, used by artists, will be retained by Rainbow Properties.

The council says it is in talks with Rainbow Properties about supporting the artists.

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