Boris Johnson overrules council to green-light Norton Folgate demolition

Stepping in: London Mayor Boris Johnson
Stepping in: London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson has intervened in Tower Hamlets politics to green-light controversial development of the historic Norton Folgate site in Spitalfields.

Company British Land now has permission to demolish buildings to create housing and office space, in plans campaigners warn could damage the site’s “unique character”.

The move scuppers a bid by Danish billionaire Troels Holch Povlsen and conservation charity The Spitalfields Trust to buy the buildings and protect them from harmful development.

The Norton Folgate site buildings at risk. Photo: Spitalfields Trust
The Norton Folgate site buildings at risk. Photo: Spitalfields Trust

City Hall said the new development would have space for 2,400 workers.

Oliver Leigh-Wood of The Spitalfields Trust, speaking before the decision yesterday, said: “If this is allowed, then every conservation area is at risk.

“The City corporation should be examining their soul.

“The British Land proposal, with full knowledge of the City corporation, is to erase history.”

The site covers Elder Street, Folgate Street, Blossom Street, Norton Folgate, Shoreditch High Street and a Commercial Street.

It forms part of a conservation area that once housed Spitalfields Fruit and Wool exchange and the residence of playwright Christopher Marlowe.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs, said: “There are a number of positive aspects of this permission, for example in supporting SMEs which will help the local economy, particularly its Tech sector, but many local residents are unhappy with the intensity of development and its impact on the historic area.

“This is however a ‘warm up’ compared to the consideration of the massive Bishopsgate Goods Yard application, which has also been called in by Boris Johnson.”

  1. john evans on Tuesday 19 January 2016 at 7:56 pm

    i hate boris the buffoon .. boris operates his fiefdom like a dictator he should be ashamed

  2. Salvatore Scorti on Tuesday 19 January 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Another sad day for London…

  3. David Cramitin on Wednesday 20 January 2016 at 8:22 am

    Vandals. Wreckers. Looters. Pave it all over, build empty blocks for dirty money to squat in.

  4. John Northeast on Wednesday 20 January 2016 at 10:33 am

    Sixteen projects “called in” by three-jobs-Johnson, Thirteen approved, three still waiting. Doesn’t this tell you something about our Mayor ?

  5. Pete Kay on Friday 22 January 2016 at 12:51 pm

    It seems as if we have our very own home grown Donald Trump type idiot. How on earth do these nincompoops ever convince people to vote for them . Perhaps they are no more than we gullible fools deserve.


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