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Last Updated: Monday, 21 November 2005, 20:24 GMT
Portobello 'losing its character'
Road sign
Portoblello Road is one of London's busiest tourist spots
A group of campaigners is fighting to keep large business chains away from one of London's busiest tourist spots.

Locals at Portobello Road in Notting Hill have told Chelsea and Kensington Council they want the road to become 'a business conservation area'.

Costas Kleanthous, of the Portobello Antique Dealers' Association, said the area had a "specific character" that did not exist anywhere else.

Councillor Daniel Moylan said the decision was not up to the council.

"The idea of a business conservation area is a completely new one and there is no basis in law for it at the moment," said Mr Moylan, deputy leader of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council.

"They and we really need to be lobbying the government to see what can be done," he added.

Mr Kleanthous said: "A galaxy of shoe shops and chains are beginning to move in.

"If it continues to get a proper foot hole they will change the character of the road, and there will be no reason for anyone to come to Portobello Road.

"The market forces unfortunately are such that an antique dealer cannot make the sort of profits which a coffee shop can make because we work on very small margins."

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