Food Street market organiser eyes expansion

Image above: Food Street Market – photograph by Andrea Carnevali

Feedback encouraged for new application

The Food Street market, which made its debut last month on Chiswick High Road, is eyeing expansion plans for the coming year. Richard Johnson, the creator of the British Street Food Awards and a local resident of Bedford Park, was only granted a three month trial initially for the street food market on the fourth Sunday of the month. His third market will be on Christmas Eve.

Richard has now resubmitted the original plan, proposing markets which are more than twice the size those he has been allowed so far. The extended setup would extend beyond the car park at Old Market Place, continuing on the pavement along the south side of the High Rd to near the Packhorse and Talbot pub, as the Antiques and Vintage market does. Mirroring the original bid, this reapplication retains the 27 May start date without amendments.

The initial bid proved controversial. Soliciting feedback triggered one of the highest responses to any licensing application in the borough’s history. While a majority voiced support, some local residents’ groups and nearby businesses opposed it. Advocates argued for the market’s potential to amplify foot traffic and bolster High Road commerce. Dissenters raised concerns about unfair competition against traditional establishments, potential congestion, and increased littering.

READ ALSO: Chiswick’s first street food market claimed as “massive success” by organiser

 Images above: Food St market in October; photographs Andrea Carnevali

The early submission of the revised bid on 3 November initially set the comment deadline for 1 December, shortly after the second event and preceding the Christmas Eve market. The Licensing Panel deemed this timeframe inadequate for assessing the market’s impact. Consequently, the consultation period extends until 2 January. A meeting to deliberate on the application is scheduled for January.

The organisers hailed the inaugural October market as a triumph, with numerous vendors selling out of food in exceptionally pleasant weather. It was very crowded, with the permitted number of vendors bunched up at one end of the market place. This Sunday’s market looked a lot less busy, but it coincided with a drop in temperature.

Several local businesses are taking part in the market. The first one in October featured Mari Deli, the Whistling Oyster and Ma Ma Boutique Bakery. Sunday’s market had a stall from Le Vacherin. The food stalls offer a range of food from around the world, including Japanese Onigiri, Swedish ‘FIKA’ culture, Indian food, Taco, Cape Malay delights and handmade dumplings, running from 11.00am to 4.00pm in Old Market Place.

For those intending to offer feedback on the application, there is no obligation to wait until the final market, but the licensing panel’s recommendations suggest basing new comments on experiences from the market events, rather than any preconceived notions. Submissions should be emailed to licensing@hounslow.gov.uk with “Food Street Market” in the subject line, including name and address (which can be withheld from the applicant upon request).