The shabby but loveable congeries of booths, barrows and brickery was gutted by fire in February 2008, with Londonist first on the scene. Since then, a temporary market of sheds and motorbike-style seating has emerged that looks like a cross between Homebase's garden section and the staging area of Junior Kickstart. But the site's developers, Stanley Sidings, have now revealed their long-term plans, following a fizzy meeting with local residents earlier this month.
The scheme calls for up to seven storeys of retail, with rooftop pavilions and walkways plus 130 new homes. The plans by architects MAKE are a long way from their earlier glass and steel 'mosquito net' vision, and more in keeping with the railway and canal infrastructure that defines the site.
Rejoice, for it looks cavernous, chaotic and thick-of-brick, three elements that make the other sections of the market so characterful. Be wary, as we don't yet know whether the development will be so friendly to the small, independent traders who form the fourth spike in the market's Mohican of charm. And, of course, you can't tell much from a single etching, which is all we can find online.
The plans will now enter a period of consultation before a planning application is filed, probably at the end of the year.