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Masterplan For The Truman Brewery

May 25, 2023
by the gentle author

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For over three years, the battle for Brick Lane has been raging. The conflict has focussed upon the future of the Truman Brewery which is central to the identity of Spitalfields.

The owners want to construct a shopping mall of mostly chain stores with offices on top as – it is believed – a precursor to the redevelopment of the entire site as a corporate-style plaza in the manner of Broadgate and Spitalfields Market.

Rejecting this notion, local residents and businesses seek mixed use for the site that reflects the needs of the community for social housing and affordable workspaces. This summer the conflict approaches resolution and I have strong hopes for a positive outcome.

In response to the strength of public opinion in the borough, Tower Hamlets Council have already launched a consultation to create a planning brief for the area that can be legally enforced. Meanwhile, in June, the Save Brick Lane campaign’s legal action at the High Court to quash the shopping mall planning permission – granted by the previous regime at the council – reaches a final verdict which I believe will be in our favour.

Stopping the shopping mall is crucial to enable the community-led masterplan for the Truman Brewery to proceed to fulfilment.



Last year, Save Brick Lane challenged Tower Hamlets Council’s approval of the Truman Brewery shopping mall application in the High Court. Although the Judicial Review was initially unsuccessful, they have now been granted permission to appeal and have a real chance to win.

They are challenging Tower Hamlets Council’s act of removing an elected councillor’s statutory right to vote at the meeting deciding the Truman Brewery planning application simply because they were not present at an earlier meeting that had considered the application.

A fundamental component of our democracy – the right of elected representatives to make decisions – is at stake here. In granting permission for appeal, the judge commented:

“…the issue raised by the proposed appeal is a novel one which is arguable with a real as opposed to fanciful prospect of success. It also seems to me to have some real general importance.”

The hearing will be held in front of three judges at the Court of Appeal on 20th or 21st June. In order to proceed, Save Brick Lane needs to raise £10,000 in the next month for legal costs.





Tower Hamlets Council have appointed MUF architectural practice led by architect Shahed Saleem to oversee the masterplan and supervise the community consultation. For several years, Shahed Saleem worked on Survey of London’s recent Whitechapel volume which makes him ideally placed to undertake this task, possessing a deep knowledge of both the history and the current social complexity of the place.

All readers are encouraged to participate in this project.


Click here to fill in the online consultation


Click here to join a webinar on Thursday 1st June at 6pm


Visit the stall on Saturday 3rd June from 10am to 1pm at the corner of Hanbury St and Spital St, E1 5JF.


Below are some early possibilties for the Truman Brewery site originated by Save Brick Lane



The two large courtyards within the brewery complex to the east and west of Brick Lane could become designated public squares.




The neighbourhood could benefit from opening up the roads and paths through the brewery site for public use.

A Open up large courtyard to Buxton St and Allen Gardens.
B Open up passageways between Brick Lane and eastern yard.
C Open up entrance between western yard and Grey Eagle St to improve access from Commercial St.
D Fully reopen the extension of Wilkes St, connecting Hanbury St and Quaker St.




The brewery site offers the potential for new housing and other uses that would benefit the community.

A Housing at the corner of Buxton St and Spital St overlooking Allen Gardens.
B A terrace of live/work dwellings on Woodseer St each with a family-sized back garden. These should match the height of the existing nineteenth century terrace on the facing side of Woodseer St.
C Rebuild the pub on the corner of Brick Lane and Woodseer St.
D There is the potential for housing and small workshops with an independent corner shop replacing the vacant lots and derelict properties in Grey Eagle St and Calvin St.


Go to WWW.BATTLEFORBRICKLANE.COM for more information about the campaign

You may also like to read about

Save Brick Lane!

Trouble at the Truman Brewery

The Save Brick Lane Protest

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Lizebeth permalink
    May 25, 2023

    A great mobilisation of the local community to save this site from becoming another retail wasteland. Let us hope that similar campaigns, like the one to SAVE LIVERPOOL STREET STATION meet with the same success. All good luck for the judicial review. Keep us posted, and thanks.

  2. Cherub permalink
    May 25, 2023

    The community deserve something better than shops and offices. A communal space should be developed for all to enjoy and would bring people together in harmony. London has enough shops.

  3. Keith Styles permalink
    May 25, 2023

    It was sad to read the story of what may happen to Truman’s Brewery in Brick Lane (Masterplan for the Truman Brewery 25th May 2023). Everytime i go pay a visit to Spitalfields something has been planned for its demise and desicration. It’s a centuries old place of interest for the many people who live there and a historic reminder of our past. Why hasn’t Tower Hamlets council and the Mayor of London put a preservation order on all the buildings and land of Spitalfields. As a born and bred Eastender of Bethnal Green and with family ties to the Irish and German families that came over to live in Spitalfields and Stepney to escape famine, disease and wars, i feel part of me is torn apart everytime a building or area of Spitalfields is spoilt by new building projects. Please Preserve Our East End And Our Spitalfields!

  4. Melissa Delano permalink
    May 25, 2023

    The gentle author is an all time favorite. Each post is an exceptional learning opportunity to discover a place I’ve never been to and really knew so little about . Made a donation on behalf of Truman Brewery today… and as always wishing y’all the best of luck. Forever fan from New Mexico USA

  5. May 26, 2023

    I have now completed the consultation form and will contribute to the campaign. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the events which is a massive pity. Hopefully, my responses will have provided some food for thought. As a teacher, one of the things I always notice in Brick Lane is how many young people there are but how few children. What is a community without families? I also like the idea of a green space. Even a postage stamp sized space is a habitat for the natural world. There are very few places around the around the area to just sit down and take it all in. I do hope they listen and don’t give in to corporate greed, penthouse-dwelling millionaires and rooftop swimming pools. We’ve had quite enough of that thank you very much! I trust you to speak for me at the events dear GA as I know we have similar views on the area so thank you in advance.

  6. Dr Roger Green permalink
    April 8, 2024

    I am contacting you to ask if you have any current information regarding this development and the ‘Save Brick Lane’ campaign as I gather the Spitalfields Society has been involved in objecting to the development.
    I cannot seem to find any current information, or any contacts concerning this proposed development? Are you aware if it is proceeding? Has the campaign folded? and so on.
    I spent a few hours on Easter Monday at Brick Lane speaking to a number of shopkeepers without getting any update as to what stage the development is at. Additionally there was no evidence of posters, flyers etc anywhere along Brick Lane.
    Myself and a colleague have a book contract with Policy Press. We are focusing on how London is being reimagined by developers with examples of community campaigns fighting their redevelopment/regeneration plans. I wish to include the campaign in the book as one of a number of examples of communities coming together to challenge such developments.
    Any help with an update on the development and campaign would be really helpful.
    Thank you.
    Dr Roger Green
    University of London

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