Readers and contributors – Welcome to the first newsletter of autumn.
Fitzrovia’s shops are being exchanged for bars, cafes, and restaurants
. This has been happening ever since I first lived here 30 years ago. But the pace of change seems to be increasing. Since before the second world war arts suppliers Tiranti
have had a shop somewhere in Fitzrovia. Even when WW2 bombs dropped on their shop they continued to trade from a different site in the neighbourhood. But now their premises at 27 Warren Street lies closed and empty and could become a sports bar if its licensing application
(see below) is approved, and Camden’s planners don’t take action against a breach of use. We need a variety of commercial uses in Fitzrovia not a monoculture of licensed premises.
Our lead story is about the possible shrinking of Goodge Street Tesco. This is an important store for local residents who need affordable places to shop, especially during the cost of living crisis we are facing this winter, and beyond.
The new planning laws that came about in 2020 mean that shops can become restaurants without planning permission. And shops can also become offices, which what could be about to happen to the rear half of Goodge Street Tesco. All these changes make Fitzrovia a poorer place to live.
Also worrying is the amount of homes lying empty or being used for short-letting (FN passim).
If you want to get in touch with us to tell us what you think of our reporting, have a question, or would like to contribute to Fitzrovia News please email us at email@example.com
– Linus Rees, editor