At a meeting at City Hall last night, London Mayor, Boris Johnson over ruled LBTH Councillors who had voted across party lines, unanimously, twice previously to reject this scheme.
Using powers granted to him in 2008 he was able to ‘take over’ the application, which had previously been refused planning permission by Tower Hamlets Council.
Representatives of the Spitalfields Community Group spoke vociferously against the scheme, alongside Dan Cruikshank representing the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, Cllr Carlo Gibbs and LBTH Planners.
One of those in favour locally is the Rector of Christ Church Spitalfields, who spoke in favour of the demolition and re development.
He felt that the view from the Church steps will be improved and he will no longer have to look at an unsightly car park.
A pity then that the view to Hawksmoor’s Baroque masterpiece will be somewhat obscured by a block larger than Wembley football pitch, and one who’s own architect, Rab Bennett referred to as “blocky” in design – what a lost opportunity when the retention of historic Dorset Street, angled to the left would have provided a wonderful vista of Spitalfield’s architectural gem.
It seems the Rector, who was previously incumbent in Fitzrovia, may well have crossed paths with Exemplar before in regarding developments in that area.
Mayor Boris Johnson gave the following reasons for his decision:
“These plans will not only restore the façade to its former glory, but regenerate the Spitalfields area with thousands of new jobs, and brand new commercial opportunities. It will also make a vital contribution to the wider London economy and have a significant impact not just on Tower Hamlets but on surrounding boroughs as well. I can find no reason to refuse permission and am of the firm view that this ambitious and important redevelopment should go ahead.”
– THE MAYOR OF LONDON, BORIS JOHNSON,
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