Regeneration proposals set to transform Wandsworth


The proposal is being led by the Covent Garden Market Authority and supported by the government.


By Hardeep Matharu

An extensive regeneration of Vauxhall, Battersea and Nine Elms, stemming from the rebuilding of New Covent Garden Market, and 2,450 new homes, is set to transform the area. 

A proposal, led by the Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) and supported by the government, is being considered by Wandsworth Council to redevelop the 57-acre New Covent Garden Market (NCGM) site.  

The flower and food sections of the Market, a wholesale outfit which supplies 40% of the produce used by London’s restaurants, will be housed on one site, as opposed to the two separate areas currently used. 

Houses created on the land released by the move of the flower market from its present location will then fund the redevelopment.

The proposal also includes the creation of ‘The Garden Heart’ – a public food and flowers centre outside of the main Market. 

But reports suggesting that a new rival to Borough Market will be created in Battersea are not the case. 

Helen Evans, Head of Communications at the CGMA, said the Market will remain true to itself.

“New Covent Garden Market is a wholesale market.  There are plans to include a retail market but the intention is for it to showcase the best of fresh produce and to serve the local community.

“There are no ambitions for it to become a serious contender to Borough Market.  The new retail market would improve access to the general public, but the main site would remain wholesale only,” she said. 

Traders at the Market are optimistic.

Gary Marshall, Chair of the NCGM Tenants’ Association, said he wanted the market to move forward. 

“We’re very excited and positive about the redevelopment and must make sure the market is the winner.

“It’s a substantial workplace with a brilliant work ethic and full of entrepreneurship, and we want it to improve and strive even more,” he said.

Mr Marshall, who has worked in the market for 30 years, said the voice of the tenants is important and discussions with the CGMA have so far been encouraging.  

“We’ve kept the market viable, earning money, and in good condition.  We want to make sure all the people who have worked hard in the past are not forgotten in the future.

“The seamless continuation of the traders’ businesses is paramount,” he added.

Barry Porter, Chair of the Tenants of the Flower Market, said he would like to remain on the current site, but understands the future of the market lies in development.

He does not believe ‘The Garden Heart’ will boost trade for the Market.

He said: “We’re looking forward to a new fit-for-purpose market, and if you can develop a site and create more value by opening it up further to the public then you should.

“But the Market already has many customers from restaurants across London and I don’t know whether there would be a surge in members of the public buying from it.”        

Along with the new American Embassy, the proposal is another aspect of the development of the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Opportunity Area.

Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said the area is undergoing a prosperous change.

He said: “Nine Elms is on the brink of an extraordinary transformation. 

“Hundreds of acres of industrial land are being redeveloped and a brand new residential and business quarter is beginning to take shape. 

“The process will yield thousands of badly needed new homes and jobs alongside two new Northern Line stations.

“It’s just the shot in the arm London’s economy needs.”   

Supporters of the proposal hope to have outline planning permission from Wandsworth Council by next summer.

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