Columbia Road Flower Market sits at the centre of our community.
It is a colourful, vibrant London market and we are lucky to have it on our doorstep.
The fact that the Covid-19 lockdown, quite rightly, closed the market for so
long jeopardising the livelihoods of the traders, some of whom have owned pitches
for generations, has been a great cause for concern locally.
The Government’s announcement on Sunday 25 May 2020 that outdoor
markets can start to re-open from 1 June 2020 means that Columbia Road Flower
Market may re-open from Sunday 7 June 2020. Given how busy and tightly packed
the market can be on a usual Sunday, we urge the Council and traders to work
together to find a safe solution that allows and enforces social distancing to
safeguard local residents, visitors and traders alike. If no safe solution can
be found then, sadly, we would prefer to see the market stay closed for now.
We await to hear plans for this reopening from representatives of London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
With the announcement that, in light of Covid-19, planning decision meetings will move online a group of interested stakeholder organisations, namely Just Space, CPRE London, Friends of the Earth and London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies have made a joint statement to highlight the potential risks virtual meetings and closed committees could have on the community’s role in the planning process.
Their review found that Councils are interpreting the new rules in very different ways and that while some are moving their meetings online others are making major planning decisions behind closed doors. They have gone on to call on the Secretary of State and Local Planning Authorities to safeguard the role of local communities in the planning process by asking them to respect six key principles. You can read their entire statement and these six key principals here.
Following this statement and given that we have some important decisions coming up locally, the hotel on Hackney Road for example, Columbia TRA has put it’s name to an email sent by local representative of the Just Space network Lucy Rogers to the Tower Hamlets Planning Committee asking that they respect nine key principles for virtual committees. The full email can be found below. We await a response to this email.
Virtual planning meetings for Tower Hamlets will start on 21 May 2020. Columbia TRA urges residents to attend these virtual meetings from the comfort of their own homes to strengthen local democracy in local planning issues.
Details of this first meeting can be found here the meeting can be accessed here.