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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Asda pulls out of Queens' Market
Many of you will already have read this at the weekend, but Asda announced that it is pulling out of the controversial Queens' Market redevelopment in Newham. Somehow Newham council think that replacing a vibrant, multi-ethnic fresh food market with a retail mall and superstore is a good thing. Well - we all know why, of course: higher retail rents, a more 'desirable' location for high value stores, cleaning up the area, etc etc. Money, principally - but none of those other government buzzwords such as social captial, healthy living, community cohesion, safer public space, walkable neighbourhoods catering to all.

Yet despite Asda's pullout, the council still insists it will go ahead with the St Modwen development of the market and simply find another anchor tenant. However, it is a huge victory for those interested in socially conscious development, and I will be really surprised to see if another supermarket chain agrees to go in on such tainted ground.

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