HL Deb 28 June 1852 vol 122 cc1331-3

presented a petition from certain Owners and Occupiers of houses and other inhabitants in St. Mary's, Islington, against the proposed site of the New Cattle Market in Copenhagen Fields, or within seven miles of St. Paul's Cathedral. The Petitioners considered it to be a great grievance that that site should be selected for such a purpose. One of the most serious evils of the present Smithfield Market was the existence in that populous neighbourhood of a large number of slaughterhouses, gutspinning works, knackers' yards, and other appendages of a great cattle market. Mr. Grainger made an official inspection of these tenements in 1849 by direction of the General Board of Health, and received abundant evidence from the clergy, schoolmasters, and the inhabitants generally, of the large amount of sickness caused by the poisonous effluvia proceeding from the above establishments. The whole atmosphere was tainted by the foul exhalations; and he was informed by one clergman, whose church was opposite a knacker's yard, that the stench was so oppressive that he could neither open the windows of the church nor of the adjoining school. Supposing a proper site were selected, and proper regulations provided, it was most desirable that such establishments as slaughterhouses, boneboilers, &c, should be connected with a great cattle market; but, if Copenhagen Fields were allowed to be appropriated as now proposed, either the whole of that populous and growing neighbourhood must be polluted and rendered unhealthy by the collection of these noisome trades in its centre, or the metropolis must continue to suffer from all those evils which had given rise to so much public complaint, arising from the slaughtering of cattle, gutspinning, &c, as now carried on in all parts of London. If, on the contrary, a proper site were chosen, a large portion of the above noxious trades would be at once transferred out of London by the parties engaged in them; and there could be no doubt that, at no distant time, the metropolis would be entirely freed from what constituted, at present, a most serious and universally recognised sanitary evil. Now, it appeared to him that the site of Copenhagen Fields was very ill chosen. It was in the midst of a district already covered with streets and rows of new houses. There were many fine villa residences close to the site of the market. Building was rapidly proceeding in the whole locality, extending from Copenhagen Fields towards Kentish Town and Highgate. New streets were being laid out, and there was no doubt that within ten years Highgate would be joined by buildings with London. The land around Copenhagen Fields being all either built upon, or intended to be speedily built on, enhanced the price of building ground. It was reported that very lately eight acres and a half of land at Upper Holloway, and therefore more distant than the site of the proposed market, were sold for 10,000l. He could not speak too strongly of the mischief which would accrue from the setting up a cattle market in the centre of such an extensive population. It had been declared in the Smithfield Bill that no new cattle market was to be erected within seven miles of St. Paul's Churchyard; but, if he was not misinformed, Copenhagen Fields was within three miles of that Churchyard. He therefore hoped that their Lordships would give attention to the prayer of this petition. Petition to lie upon the table.

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