Reprieve for Food Stalls Outside Southside Shopping Centre

Negotiations continue as way sought for them to stay

StreetCube staff celebrate possible stay of execution
StreetCube staff celebrate possible stay of execution

October 27, 2021

Food stalls outside the Southside Shopping Centre may be able to remain after a huge public reaction to their possible removal.

Talks are continuing between StreetCube and LandSec, the landowner of the area outside the centre.

Over 4,000 people registered their support for the stalls to stay by signing a petition and the campaign has received the backing of Fleur Anderson MP for Putney who is negotiating for the independent chefs to stay.

The sustainable food project, which was launched with help from Masterchef Raymond Blanc, has won the global award for sustainable food innovation for its approach to supporting independent chefs to champion sustainable food.

The project is supported by a host of experts on sustainability including Professor Jules Pretty OBE, Dr Pamela Mason and Professor Philip Sloan.

“StreetCube is a solution to tackling so many problems with the current broken industrial food system” says Founder, Pascal Gerrard.

“By installing a cluster of Solar-powered StreetCube kitchens into a town or city-centre, you instantly bring focus to the problem that most children and families don’t have access to good food in the hearts of our communities, as so many towns and cities are dominated by global junk chains who only focus on profit and growth”.

“StreetCube focuses on people and planet, and seeks to cut CO2, improve public health and provide a professional, solid and secure platform for young independent chefs to develop more sustainable food styles.

“The chefs located outside SouthSide shopping centre in Wandsworth continued to operatel through the pandemic lockdown, sending out free meals to NHS workers as well as emergency deliveries to vulnerable local residents, and has been serving up some delicious sustainable meals to the community for almost 3 years, but Landsec has asked them to reduce the number of Gazebos because of complaints from ‘other retailers, and that Landsec say that the space isn’t big enough to cope with the extra footfall. LandSec also say that they wish to develop the space, however they granted a new 5 year lease, which has 4 years left to run”.

“Fleur Anderson argues that there is plenty of space and that the project brings such wonderful benefits to the town, with a mix of eclectic and authentic food from around the world which is both delicious and sustainable.”

Protests have been held ask LandSec to keep the food stalls
Protests have been held ask LandSec to keep the food stalls

Chefs have vowed to continue demonstrating until the threat of closure is gone.

“We want LandSec to ‘PLAY FAIR’ and stick to the lease agreement, says Usri Mohamed, an organic Felafel chef at StreetCube. “We feel that just because Landsec owns 24m sq feet of retail space, they should not bully a tiny project like StreetCube, because we are doing our best to save the planet, and Landsec say that they want to support local projects and be more sustainable!”

Another chef José Berber says, “We will demonstrate every weekend until Landsec realises that is wrong to push out local projects that support the community and tackle climate change.”

Some local residents are angry about LandSec’s behaviour, “This is not the first time that LandSec has upset this local community” says Mia Mustafa, a local of more than 40 years.

“Nobody around here will ever forget that LandSec chopped down almost a dozen beautifully matured London Plane trees when they purchased The Arndale Centre as it was known back then.

“We all demonstrated and begged for them to keep the trees, but once again they ignored the local community and hacked them down, only to put an empty concrete space here. It became a very dull and uninviting area, for years and years, until StreetCube came along and breathed life into the space once more”.

A spokesperson for Southside shopping centre said previously, ““During lockdown, StreetCube added several additional pop-up gazebos without formal consent and outside of the agreement we have in place. Since retail and leisure is now fully open, we must consider the impact that these additional pop-ups are having on our other brand partners. As the landlord, we are responsible for ensuring that all our brand partners are able to flourish.

“Unfortunately the high number of these additional pop-ups are restricting visibility and access to some of our brands which is having a detrimental impact on footfall and ultimately their business. For this reason, we have asked StreetCube to remove those pop-ups that do not form part of our agreement with them.

“Southside has always hosted pop-up food stalls operated by local independent traders and this will continue to be available for the traders to apply, while running in a manner that reflects the constraints of the site and in line with the agreements we have in place with all of our brand partners.”

Talks are set to resume and a final decision will be made in the coming weeks about the future of the stalls