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WOOLWORTHS: The Local Pressure Is Working, KEEP IT UP!

5.39.15pm UTC (GMT +0000) Wed 22nd Aug 2007

Portobello market sign (photography: Robin Meltzer)

UK Investments, one of the Portobello 'Super Landlords', is under massive local pressure from residents who do not wish to see valued local stores close in favour of luxury flats and retail outlets.

The original plan for the Woolworths site on Portobello Road would see the store, which has been on the street since 1928, close its doors in June 2009. UK Investments wanted to build luxury flats in its place, with small retail outlets on the ground floor.

But under local pressure, UK Investments has been forced to come up with a plan that could see Woolworths survive any development.

A spokesman for JMW Barnard, the managing agents for UK Investments, confirmed this: "We are keen to include Woolworths in our future plans and are currently in negotiations."

The spokesman added: "We are concerned about preserving the essence and unique character of Portobello."

Lib Dem campaigner Carol Caruana said, "Our campaign is working but it's vital that we keep up the pressure. These new plans are not finalised and are still being discussed with Woolworths. It also remains to be seen whether building luxury flats on top of Woolworths can really preserve the unique character of Portobello, so we shall be waiting to see the plans."

JMW Barnard have promised to "consult with residents, stall-holders, tenants and other users of Portobello Road to ensure that any of our redevelopment proposals best meet the concerns of all relevant stakeholders."

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Previous news story: Outrage at plans to "sell off Portobello's soul" (Mon 13th Aug 2007).
Next news story: Public Demonstration on Friday 9th November (Mon 29th Oct 2007).

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