Ah Crossrail 2, the new rail route that's enabling growth in the south-east and wreaking havoc on London's cultural scene simultaneously. Developments for the new train line have already threatened our beloved Curzon Soho and now another local landmark is in the firing line.
It turns out that Crossrail 2 needs a ventilation shaft in south London – specifically on the site where Tooting Market currently stands. The market has been serving Tooting residents for over 80 years and a recent facelift has made it a food, drink and shopping hub for those in SW17. But that might all be about to change.
If the shaft goes ahead, Transport for London will have to use a compulsory purchase order to force the market off the land. Once they've used the small space they need for the shaft, the rest of the site will be sold off to developers.
Tooting Market manager Roi Mengelgrein is furious, stating that the 100 people employed across 60 stalls had previously been assured that the market premises were safe from Crossrail 2 developments. He said:
'All this has been planned in secret by engineers who know nothing about what is here and the shopkeepers trying to make a living in the market.'
But don't raise your pitchforks just yet: nothing's been confirmed.
Michèle Dix, the managing director for Crossrail 2, says that they're continuing to explore options and they'll be speaking with the public about their proposals later this autumn.
If you still want to show solidarity with Tooting Market, you can sign a petition to oppose the compulsory purchase here.
Remember a time before developers and see when Sadiq Khan took us to Tooting Market to tell us some jokes.