Not all Standard writers will worship at new mecca

The new £1.6 billion Westfield shopping centre opens in West London on Thursday, and the Evening Standard’s writers seem unsure whether it’s a good or a bad thing.

In an article in the paper’s Homes and Property supplement last week, headlined ‘Biggest and best in the west”, Anthea Massey calls it a ‘temple to shopping”, adding that ‘new transport links will bring benefits to the area”.

Elsewhere in the supplement, Katie Law labels it a ‘merchandising mecca’while the headline calls it ‘a new homeware heaven”.

But a day before the supplement appeared, Andrew Gilligan warned Standard readers: ‘Take a last look around, West Londoners. Only a week to go now until you’re hit by the retail equivalent of the neutron bomb, leaving your area physically intact but destroying all organic shopping life within a five-mile radius.”

Sadly, Gilligan is unimpressed by Massey’s talk of ‘benefits’brought by ‘new transport links”.

‘There’s a good chance the area’s traffic, already the worst in London, according to TfL, will seize up,’he writes gloomily.

With 260 new shops, 30 restaurants and a 13-screen cinema all set to be wooed by the Standard’s advertising team, Axegrinder wonders if, from now on, Londoners will read more about the ‘mechandishing mecca’than the retail ‘neutron bomb”.

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