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Six Days Left To Save Brick Lane!

June 22, 2022
by the gentle author

Tonight is the benefit concert at Rich Mix to raise money for next week’s Judicial Review at the High Court





The Judicial Review of Tower Hamlets Council’s undemocratic approval of the destructive Truman Brewery scheme for an ugly shopping mall and corporate offices is due to take place at the High Court next week on Wednesday June 29th. (We will publish a link for readers to watch)

The Save Brick Lane coalition brought the action against the Council after two members out of a Planning Committee of only three voting members chose to ignore the wishes of 7476 objectors – more than 1300 of whom were local residents – in order to push through the disastrous planning application. 

Unfortunately, once planning consent has been granted it cannot be revoked. So the only recourse now open to the people who objected is to seek a legal investigation into the irregular processes by which the permission was granted. If it can be proven at the Judicial Review that the Planning Committee was deliberately misled and restructured to deny some Committee members the votes they were entitled to – and which their electorate deserved – the consent will automatically be quashed. 

One encouraging development has been the election of a new Mayor of Tower Hamlets who is vociferously and eloquently opposed to the Truman Brewery scheme. Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s list of immediate priorities includes working on a community-focussed alternative to the current plan – and in a vigorous article for Jacobin magazine he committed to ending “the slow destruction of our local heritage, most grimly represented by the Truman Brewery on world-famous Brick Lane being handed over to luxury developers.”

The controversial scheme develops the south-eastern corner of the historic Truman Brewery site at the junction of Brick Lane and Woodseer St, by inserting a huge block, comprising a steel and glass shopping mall with corporate offices looming high overhead. The new buildings will be out of proportion to the historic terraces, at rents few local people can afford, and draining business away from the small-scale local shops and restaurants in the surrounding streets, which form the character and economic backbone of Brick Lane.

7476 people objected while only 82 supported the scheme. The plans were put forward to Tower Hamlets’ Planning Committee in April 2021, but the applicant was asked to make amendments and the decision was deferred. Shortly afterwards, the Planning Committee was restructured and, when the Committee met again in September 2021, they were told that only those members who had been there in April could vote on the revised scheme. We believe this is incorrect and all of the Committee members could have voted.  Only four people on the new Committee had been there in April, but one of them was told she could not vote because she was dialling into the meeting due to Covid. Again, we believe this is incorrect. 

By misleading the Committee, the approval of the scheme was secured by a vote of two against one and the wishes of the people were overridden. Ultimately, this is not just about bad design, protecting our vibrant communities and historic built environment, it is about democracy. 

We urgently need your support to stop this scheme, halt the corporate shopping mall and Save Brick Lane. A clock is ticking and we only have until 29th June to reach our target – six days!




Photograph copyright © David Hoffman 

You may also like to read about

Save Brick Lane!

Trouble at the Truman Brewery

The Save Brick Lane Protest

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Su C. permalink
    June 22, 2022

    Does anyone honestly view a shopping mall/complex as a viable endeavor in this day and age? What shortsightedness prevails that would approve such a horrendous (and DATED, REDUNDANT) scheme. Shame. May wisdom prevail.

  2. Cherub permalink
    June 22, 2022

    A shopping mall and offices will totally change the area. Planners never seem to listen.

  3. Judi Jones permalink
    June 11, 2023

    A prime example of corporate, scandalous destruction. If permission to bulldoze part of an iconic community is granted, shame on those who shortsightedly ignore heritage.

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