Broadway Market (London), 2005–2006

Broadway Market (London), 2005–2006

The ongoing development of Broadway Market has sparked a local debate about the perceived gentrification of Hackney and the way Hackney council disposed of some of their commercial property portfolio. In late 2005 a group of local protestors occupied 34 Broadway Market (Francesca’s café) to bring attention to the issue. Despite being evicted on the 21st December 2005 the building was successfully reoccupied on 27 December (replacing the demolished roof in the process) before the protestors were again evicted on 23 February 2006. Ultimately the battle was lost and the former proprietor of Francesca’s cafe now runs the Little Francesca’s juice stall on Saturdays in Broadway Market. The battle did not end, however, and local shopkeeper Spirit, whose shop was sold to an overseas developer by Hackney Council, fought several court battles to regain his property after proving that Hackney Council had cashed the cheque for his purchase deposit prior to selling his property to an overseas development company. Ultimately Spirit lost his battle too – winning in court but unable to reverse the transaction.

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