Many Forest Gate residents use and value our local, independent shops and among those that we treasure is Barry’s Meat Market on Woodgrange Road. Barry Parsons has been Forest Gate’s local butcher for many years and even I, a pescatarian, have queued up for his turkey at Christmas, and bought sausages for my meat-eating children there.
Some of you will be aware that Barry’s and the shops along 39 – 49 Woodgrange Road have been given notice, as the whole row is being redeveloped into new retail units with flats above. The good news is that Barry has obtained new premises: the old Siam Café in fact, further up Woodgrange Road, and has submitted a planning application in order to turn this building into his new shop.
You can find the planning application here, and I’m writing this blog post to urge any interested local residents to log in and support the application. Barry has applied to fit out the shop downstairs as a butchers, with shop front, meat preparation space, and delivery area at the back. The application also proposes flats on top, which would raise the height of the building by one storey compared to the existing roofline.
I have just commented myself, and said:
‘I would like to register my strong support for this application. Barry’s butchers is a very valuable local business that is a vital part of our high street, and has been in Forest Gate for many years. Once the buildings at 39 – 49 Woodgrange Road are redeveloped, the businesses there will be displaced, and supporting this application offers a chance for one of those local businesses to re-establish itself in an alternative premises in the same high street.
I believe that refurbishing this property would be a high quality addition to our high street, and would reflect local desire for independent businesses. The addition of residential units above will help to support the business, and will add high quality accommodation to the high street.
Although the proposed plans are a storey higher than the buildings are currently, I support this as the additional height is stepped back from the front, only goes up to three storeys, is very close to nearby stations, and is in keeping with the higher buildings around it.
I hope very much that this application is supported so that a local building can be refurbished, the high street supported, more residential units created, and a local business encouraged to grow and thrive.’
In order to comment, you have to create an account and log in, and your comments are made public. If the application goes to the Local Development Committee, then I will endeavour to attend and to speak in support, but you don’t have to do that, you can just register your comments online and leave it there, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done your civic duty.
Edited to add: the closing date for comments is the 25th July.