The Ruins Of The Fruit & Wool Exchange
This is a view I never expected to see – Christ Church, Spitalfields, peering through the ruins of the London Fruit & Wool Exchange. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is personally responsible for this tragic scene, by overturning the unanimous democratic decision of Tower Hamlets Council to reject the new development.
A dignified edifice of brick and stone, constructed to complement the historic buildings which surround it and which was entirely capable of reuse, is being destroyed and replaced by an overblown generic block of undistinguished design. More than two hundred small local businesses have been displaced for the sake of one international corporate law firm who have already leased all the office space in the new building.
It is paramount that Boris Johnson does not become the agent of destruction of Norton Folgate in the same way, by also overturning the decision of the Council to refuse British Land’s scheme which replaces the historic warehouses there with corporate blocks of fourteen storeys, destroying 72% of the fabric of their site which sits entirely within a Conservation Area.
Boris Johnson has British Land’s Norton Folgate planning application in front of him now and he has until 25th September to decide whether to get involved. If you have not already done so, please write to Boris Johnson and ask him not to interfere in Norton Folgate.
This is a simple guide to how to write to the Mayor of London, asking him to show respect to the people of the East End by upholding the decision of Tower Hamlets Council and not intervening on behalf of British Land.
You can write by email email@example.com (please also provide your postal address in the email) or by post to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA
Please quote application numbers PA/14/03548 & PA/14/03618 and write in your own words giving your own reasons why you think Boris Johnson should not interfere with Norton Folgate, but you might like to consider including the following points.
1. The decision to reject British Land’s application was made democratically by Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee with 4 votes against, 4 abstentions and o votes in favour. This is what the people of East London want.
2. There were more than 550 letters of objection but only 7 in favour.
3. The site is entirely within the Elder St Conservation Area which is protected by the Council’s own Conservation Policy, recommending repair of the buildings – not wholesale demolition as proposed by British Land.
4. The Spitalfields Trust has produced a viable alternative scheme which addresses local housing and employment needs, and preserves the heritage assets for future generations.
Note the troughs of plants along the top of the blue hoardings to compensate us for the demolition
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