Developers confirm partial climbdown over Norton Folgate

Blossom Street warehouses. Photograph: Simon Mooney
Blossom Street warehouses. Photograph: Simon Mooney

Developers British Land have told the Hackney Citizen that the new plans will see the 19th-century warehouses at 12 and 13 Blossom Street saved in their entirety, as opposed to only retaining their façades.

The climbdown by developers will be seen as at least a partial victory for the Spitalfields Trust, a charity that has fought hard to save the Blossom Street warehouses and eighteenth-century houses on Norton Folgate from demolition.

Last July the Trust organised a 300-strong human chain, led by the historian Dan Cruickshank, which encircled the endangered buildings ahead of a crucial planning meeting.

Spitalfields Trust has declined to comment until the developers formally put forward the proposals, which are expected to be made public tomorrow.

Calling in

The decision to revise the proposals follows a site visit from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who ‘called in’ the original application in September after Tower Hamlets Council threw out the unpopular plans.

As the new planning authority, the Mayor advised British Land to amend their proposals for the site.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Calling this application in allowed time for the Mayor to visit the site personally and an opportunity for further detailed scrutiny of the development.

“Following professional heritage and planning advice, the Mayor wanted to see more of the existing warehouses kept and suggested an amendment, which included retaining two warehouses on Blossom Street.”

The Mayor is expected to make a decision at public hearing scheduled for 18 January.

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