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D Day For The Whitechapel Bell Foundry

November 14, 2019
by the gentle author

Schrodinger says, bring a bell and gather at 6pm tonight outside the Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, E14 2BG prior to the public Planning Committee Meeting which will decide upon the developers’ application for change of use from bell foundry to bell-themed boutique hotel

Planning reasons why Tower Hamlets Council should reject the application for change of use from bell foundry to boutique hotel

1. The developer Raycliff is proposing constructing a hotel on land at the rear of the foundry and using the listed foundry buildings as a café and workspaces. This change of use of the foundry buildings causes ‘substantial harm’ as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework.

2. The benefits that the developer claims the hotel will bring cannot be used to justify the harm done to the foundry itself.

3. The foundry site and the foundry business within it comprise the listed building and the heritage asset. Raycliff, Historic England and Tower Hamlets Council, ALL recognise that the conversion from a working foundry is harmful to this heritage asset.

There is NO justification for this substantial harm.


A. The hotel can happen anyway.

B. The foundry can continue as a working foundry.

C. There is no evidence that this cannot happen since no marketing to find a company to continue the foundry use has been done.

The planning argument put forward by Tower Hamlets Planning Officers, recommending approval of Raycliff’s application, is flawed and this is set out in detail in the legal statement by Litchfields, UK Historic Building Preservation Trust’s planning advisors, which is attached below.

The Trust’s scheme for the listed foundry buildings delivers highly skilled artisan and contemporary jobs for the youth of the borough AND apprenticeships, JUST as they have done in Stoke, one of the most deprived communities in this country. This scheme does not preclude the construction of a hotel on the land at the rear of the foundry.

There is overwhelming international and local support for the retention of a proper working foundry at Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

STOP THIS HERITAGE VANDALISM and throw out this application.

TELL THE APPLICANT to come back with a planning application for the land at the rear of the foundry only, AND sell the foundry to someone who will run this country’s oldest business for the benefit of everyone.

Click on the legal statement below by Litchfields, (UK Historic Building Preservation Trust’s planning advisors) to enlarge and read

You may also like to read about

Save Our Bell Foundry

A Bell-Themed Boutique Hotel?

Nigel Taylor, Tower Bell Manager

Benjamin Kipling, Bell Tuner

Four Hundred Years at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Pearl Binder at Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Dorothy Rendell at Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Hope for The Whitechapel Bell Foundry

A Petition to Save the Bell Foundry

Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

So Long, Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Fourteen Short Poems About The Whitechapel Bell Foundry

12 Responses leave one →
  1. November 14, 2019

    Good luck! Valerie

  2. November 14, 2019

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all today.

  3. Jill Wilson permalink
    November 14, 2019

    I’ll be there – with another load of bells!

  4. Jill wilson permalink
    November 14, 2019

    D day – Demonstration day!

    Come on everyone and join us to help save this valuable heritage asset.

    Make Schrodinger proud!!

  5. November 14, 2019

    Good Luck everyone. Really hope you can stop the redevelopment.
    Will be keeping everything crossed for you.

  6. November 14, 2019

    Your robust campaign , support from all over the world and this letter from Lichfields outlining so succinctly why the current plans are flawed, must surely make Tower Hamlet’s Planning Officers realise that the only option is rejection.
    Let us all hope that the Foundry can be saved and provide employment for skilled employees and apprentices for many years to come.
    Whitechapel does not need a ’boutique’ hotel.

  7. Dain Keating permalink
    November 14, 2019

    Am in Australia at the moment but used to walk past the bell foundry in the sixties. Please don’t let them wreck it, like the London Hospital will be.

  8. November 14, 2019

    Fingers crossed for this evening. I will try to be there

  9. November 14, 2019

    From my northern sofa, I send my very best wishes for your endeavour and a huge crowd of supporters tonight. I note you made the BBC news pages today. Fine work.

  10. Linda Granfield permalink
    November 14, 2019

    Good luck vibes from Canada.

    I look forward to reading your account of today’s proceedings with, of course, a Happy Ending for all who rang bells and sent letters.

    May your voices be heard!

  11. November 14, 2019

    Really hope the Foundry gets saved.
    Is there something I can sign against this unnecessary development?

  12. November 14, 2019

    Another needless change and (ab)use of a historic building in London… So many other places you could build yet another hotel for the wealthy

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