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The Fight For The Soul Of Spitalfields

September 14, 2021
by the gentle author

UPDATE: The Truman Brewery’s planning application was approved by Tower Hamlets Development Committeee with councillors Kevin Brady and Kahar Chowdhury voting in favour and Abdul Mukit against.


The bellman led the way as the campaign to SAVE BRICK LANE reached its climax on Sunday when protestors staged a mock funeral procession with speeches outside the Truman Brewery.

Contributing Photographer Sarah Ainslie was there to capture the drama of the occasion.

Tonight, Tuesday 14th September, Tower Hamlets Council’s Development Committee makes its decision upon the Truman Brewery’s controversial planning application for a shopping mall with four floors of offices on top, as the first step in the redevelopment of the entire brewery site into a corporate plaza.

Click here to watch the committee meeting live at 6:30pm


Local councillor Shad Chowdhury speaks for the community against the Truman Brewery development

Photographs copyright © Sarah Ainslie

You may also like to read about

Save Brick Lane!

Trouble at the Truman Brewery

Wilful Destruction At The Truman Brewery

The Save Brick Lane Protest

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Jill Wilson permalink
    September 14, 2021

    This was a very effective and moving protest – it really did feel like a funeral.

    Let’s hope that the council reject the proposed development tonight and just for once listen to their voters, and vote in favour of the community rather than the money men.

    And that Brick Lane can remain live and kicking for future generations, and can continue to be the life and soul of London.

  2. September 14, 2021

    Get up
    Stand up
    Don’t give up the fight.

    Good luck against the corporate monster that’s trying to suck the life out of your unique community.

  3. September 14, 2021

    Best of luck, and no matter what, don’t give up.Brick Lane must remain alive.

  4. Keith Thomas Styles permalink
    September 15, 2021

    A sad time for Brick Lane and all of the East End. I was born in Bethnal Green and my family lived and worked in Spitalfields etc. Brick Lane is full of history, fun and a lovely place to live, visit and explore. Tower Hamlets council is destroying the East End with these over priced shops as they did with Spitalfields market and the old Fruit Exchange. Shame on them

  5. Cherub permalink
    September 16, 2021

    I just feel if this development goes ahead it will be very sad, akin to putting profit before the wellbeing of a community. Spitalfields is a very unique and special part of East London and it would be an asset if the brewery site could have been used for the benefit of the community.

  6. Vivienne permalink
    September 17, 2021

    Is there any way the decision can be appealed?

  7. Philip Binns permalink
    September 17, 2021

    I see froom Charles Saumarez-Smith’s blog when responding to a comment on his coverage of this issue that, while only 3 of the committe members were present in person at the hearing on Tuesday evening, there was one member who was unable to attend because she was self-isolating.
    I would have thought it not beyond the wit of the committee services team at Tower Hamlets to have enabled her to join the meeting remotely so that she could have taken part in the decision makong process.
    Had that been possible – and on the understanding that she was against the application under consideration – the result would have been split deciison leaving the Chaie, who had already signalled his intention to refuse the recommendation, to use his casting vote.
    Result – application refused.
    a missed opportunity?

  8. October 3, 2021

    The UK planning system is certainly failing the locals, as the sign reads. Very sad that everything worth saving has to result in a fight against developers, usually to the detriment of those families and traders who have lived there for decades. Also means another piece of rich history being wiped out, which is disgraceful!

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