Friday, 25 April 2008

Arcade site: giant Primark spells disaster for Walthamstow Market

"Over 75,000sqft of new shops, cafes and restaurants" claim the new Arcade site hoardings this week... What they don't tell you is that more than two-thirds of that floor space is set to be a massive, two-storey Primark store that could spell disaster for the many Walthamstow Market traders whose livelihoods depend on selling clothes.
We were told directly by the developers St Modwen at a recent meeting that the development would include a 53,000sqft Primark store and just one other shop (10,000sqft), plus two restaurants (hmm, we're thinking fried chicken), an eight-screen cinema and probably a coffee shop.
We've contacted the Market Traders' Association and they agree that a huge Primark could be a nightmare for the many clothing stalls and also the countless clothes shops up and down the High Street.
Call this regeneration?
Remember, Waltham Forest council decided to redevelop the Arcade site specifically to kick off "regeneration". Does a massive cheap clothes shop, a boarded up high street and decimated market sound like regeneration to you?
By way of contrast, the previous developers Henry Boot were in negotiation with Marks & Spencer! It just goes to show what the council and St Modwen think of Walthamstow: the current plans for the Arcade site are literally "pile it high and sell it cheap".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How does the establishment of Primark fit in with the borough claiming to be a fair trade borough. Whilst all clothing is at the expense of cheap labour mainly in Asia I would suspect Primark not paying much attention to labour rights, decent pay and working conditions.
How does Labour Behind the Label rate them?