‘Queen of shops’ helps to save furniture co-op from Crossrail

Small shops champion Mary Portas was among the residents fighting plans to bulldoze the Big Table Furniture Co-op in Westbourne Park to create an electricity substation for the Crossrail link. Crossrail has now decided to use a smaller amount of land, so only the shop’s yard is needed.

Stephen Bond, director of Big Table, which has produced and sold beds for 30 years, said demolishing the shop would have cost jobs and harmed suppliers.

Local historian Maggie Tyler said the 1901 former Temperance Society building was "a powerful reminder of the history and identity of Westbourne Park’s railway heritage".

More than 2,000 people signed a petition demanding the business stay open.

Crossrail’s powers meant it would have needed little government consultation to demolish the store. But land and property director Ian Lindsay said: "We have reduced the extent of land required for our substation and negotiated an alternative access."

Crossrail also faces anger over plans for new lorry routes to building sites at Westbourne Park and Royal Oak. London Assembly member Murad Qureshi called for tunnel linings and segments to be transported along the Grand Union Canal.

Crossrail said there would be "huge challenges" unloading materials from barges because of limited room under the Westway.

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