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Not gone yet! Last minute reprieve for Buck Street Market

Stallholders told they can stay - for now

15 October, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

A LAST minute stay of execution has been given to market traders in Camden Town – after the owners of the Buck Street market site reversed a decision to shut it down over the weekend.

Stall holders and businesses had been due to pack up their remaining stock at the end of the day of yesterday (Sunday) as owners Lab Tech begin to work on a new complex made of shipping containers.

But a last minute change of mind by Lab Tech to delay the start of clearing the site has meant the market is still open – for now.

Traders told the New Journal they had been told the market was definitely shutting at the weekend but were then called into a meeting late last week where the decision was suddenly thrown in to doubt.

One trader, who did not wish to be named, said: “We were told last week that Sunday was definitely our last day here. We were then called into meetings with the markets managers and said perhaps we might be given a bit longer. Then we were told we definitely had another week, two weeks left. Some have already laid off their helpers and sold off stock at clearance prices – and now are told they can keep going. It is not very helpful. We are independent businesses and I can’t really afford this uncertainty.”

Another added: “The lack of firm news is very disappointing, we don’t know how long we can still work here, and we don’t know if we will be allowed to come back once the work has been done. It doesn’t make it easy to run your business. I had planned to do other work for a bit but have had to put that on hold now.”

One stall holder told the New Journal they believed that structural engineers had visited the site last week and explored a deep ventilation shaft used by TfL that border the market. They flagged up potential issues around bringing heavy shipping containers on to the land – leading to to the delay. Lab Tech have not confirmed this rumour.

The land, sandwiched between Camden High Street, a row of shops including the Electric Ballroom, and a late Victorian church on Kentish Town Road, has been earmarked for redevelopment for more than ten years. Previous schemes included building a four storey block with offices and a boutique hotel on upper floors, including a roof top bar and swimming pool – with market style trading units on the ground floor.

Lab Tech, who also own the Lock market, Stables market and Hawley Wharf market, have applied for planning permission to build the temporary container village while Transport for London create a new entrance to Camden Town tube on Buck Street. The work by TfL is set to take around 10 years – meaning Lab Tech sought to make improvements to the market without their work being permanent.

Lab Tech would not comment on these rumours, but chief executive Chen Moravsky told the New Journal traders and shoppers would know later this week what the future holds – after councillors sitting the Town Hall’s planning committee have considered the container park plan on Thursday evening.

He said: “We can’t comment on the Buck Street market before the council takes its decision next Thursday. We will respect any decision by the council and will act accordingly.”

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