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Breathing new life into our high streets

Image captionImage 1: From left to right, Bryan Chakowa (Specsavers), Andy Ward of Dickenson’s Butchers and Cllr Ben Coleman

Local residents and businesses to drive fresh approach

In one of the first results of the new council’s fresh approach to making policy, residents and businesses are going to play a central role in reviving Hammersmith and Fulham’s high streets.

“We want to change things for the better with residents, not make decisions behind closed doors,” said Cllr Ben Coleman, who chairs the new policy and accountability committee (PAC) for economic regeneration, the housing and the arts.

“At our first PAC meeting, residents said that breathing new life into the high street really mattered to them. So we want to work actively with residents and local businesses to save our high streets and shopping parades, starting with North End Road in the south and Bloemfontein Road in the north.”

“Residents tell us they want fewer betting and loan outlets and more shops. We will explore innovative things being done across the country and bring together shop owners, stallholders, landlords and residents to get ideas off the ground.”

Andy Ward of Dickenson’s Butchers, which has been in the North End Road since 1981, said: “Parking is a huge issue.” Bryan Chakowa of local Specsavers added: "We need to do something about pavement congestion and about the look of the road."

Four other PACs are developing policy with residents: Children’s and educational policy; health, adult social care and social inclusion; community safety, environment and residents’ services; and council finance and delivery.

All residents are encouraged to attend any PAC meeting. To find out more about the PACs, including when the next meetings are, please email

Comparative shopping needs to be encouraged - it works. I live near NE RD so no need to use transport. High volume of traffic on road is not a "turn off". The increasing number of empty shops gives an air of decline. The "soul" of the street are the stalls, very few early in the week but picks up towards the week-end but still with lots of empty pitches that produces a feeling of gradual decline. Multi national shops create a great experience and added to stalls should be a winner but council needs to manage make up of shops/stalls. What incentives are offered? Business rates too high? Street furniture/improvement? Could be a destination shopping area for British markets (occasional farmers?) and ethnic foods. Clamp down on loan/betting shops, they kill an area.
From David on 15/07/2014 at 21:45

Both some retail shops, and stalls in NER are encroaching onto the footpath. In some places it is only wide enough for one person at a time to squeeze by.
Ban all unnecessary advertising stands, and stalls selling phone cards outside the shops. Also limit the number of chairs and tables cafes may have outside their premises. Some shops have encroached bit by bit with their produce, onto the footpath making it more and more difficult to get past. Enforce all legislation in this area at all times.
Agreed that the traffic is awful, but just ban cars and trucks on Saturdays, not buses. We Disabled people rely on them to do our shopping.
From Jaymel on 15/07/2014 at 21:27

Free parking round the market would bring it back to life and I agree that pedestrianizing it on Saturdays would be a good idea, however not before Putney Bridge and Hammersmith Flyover are finished otherwise the Borough will be gridlocked.
From Annabel on 15/07/2014 at 14:37

I'd love to see North End Road flourish. I use the market every week and it's a great part of Fulham.
I agree that getting rid of the betting shops and allowing new businesses into the empty shops (with preferential rates?) would be great.
But it's never going to be a nice place to shop until the massive amount of traffic is cut down. There are so many enormous HGVs which use the street and people are crammed onto the small pavements. It would be great to see through traffic removed - at least on Saturdays as a trial perhaps - that way it would be more pleasant and people would choose to spend more time (and money) there.
I agree that parking for the traders is important, but most people access the street on foot/by bike or public transport so please don't hand over space for parking to the disbenefit of the majority of people who shop and live here.
Space for people not space for cars!
From Clare on 15/07/2014 at 13:52

Shop fronts should be clean and appealing. No more dilapidated shop fronts. They should conform to certain regulations. There should be a number of free or reduced 1 to 2 hr parking spaces for shoppers. Replica shops should be limited to 2 or 3 so that variety can be added to the High Street. Who needs a dozen Betting shops,
Specialist shops should be encouraged by reducing their Rates.
From MS on 15/07/2014 at 13:51

One of the market stall holders told me last week that the market was being closed down in 5 months time! Is this true? If so WHY? Everyone knows it's the saving grace of the North End Road, even more so now that all those hideous Pound shops and betting shops are taking over.
Can you tell me if this terrible rumour is true please, and if so why?
From Elizabeth on 15/07/2014 at 13:45
No, this is far from the case. The council is beginning a review that will work with residents, stallholders and others to revive North End Road, keeping all that is best about it. If you want to get involved please email
From H&F Council on 16/07/2014 at 14:38

Can something be done to smarten up Munster Road adjoining Lillie Road? Needs really good restaurant and another cafe. It is so residential around there so it would benefit.
The Bathroom Shop occupies most of the top of Munster Road and it makes it far too industrial with giant packaging and baths often left by the bus stop. It looks very grotty. There are a empty shops with grotty fronts to them also. It could be lovely and have more of a village feel.
From KathyP on 15/07/2014 at 12:22

The North End Road market has become a disaster with fewer and fewer stallholders selling fruit and veg etc. while more and more shops have opened selling exactly the same produce. Pointless as far as I am concerned. I have watched this famous market die by degrees for years and find it tragic.
I thought a market was supposed to be a MARKET!!!
From JAS on 15/07/2014 at 11:55

I think we have to accept the chnaging nature of retail and further that there are probably too many retail units in the borough. Far better to speed up planning processes and allow a change of use to private housing. Wandsworth Bridge Road could certainly do with more residents and fewer empty shops which encourage vandalism and create a general air of scruffiness.
From John Renz on 15/07/2014 at 11:51

We have too many food shops in Northend Road, we need a variety of shops, instead of the same thing. Too many betting shops aswell.
From Sue on 15/07/2014 at 11:48

Reviving the borough's high streets sounds good but the retail sector is going through big changes, and the future of high streets is uncertain. More certainly needs to be done to improve the appearance of our highs streets e.g. more trees and planting. I also think some shops need to close, many are very scruffy and have ugly fronts. Perhaps some could become residential units, to help solve the housing shortage.
From Gt on 09/07/2014 at 18:45