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Foster's Bishop's Place scheme clears legal hurdle

Agreement reached over Foster’s contentious Shoreditch scheme – spelling the end for 19th-century Light Bar

Foster + Partners’ controversial Bishop’s Place scheme in Shoreditch, East London, has edged closer to becoming reality after a last-minute deal was thrashed out with tenants on the site.

Developer Hammerson announced it had brokered an out-of-court settlement with Bandol Estates – leaseholder of the Light Bar, a 19th-century building which the property group wants to flatten – just days before a case was to be brought in the High Court.

The settlement will almost certainly mean the demolition of the unlisted building at 233 Shoreditch High Street, which the developer wants to replace with an office tower as part of a wider scheme including 65,000m² of office space, a hotel and residential units.

Martin Jepson, managing director of Hammerson London Group, denied the deal would necessarily mean the bar would be razed, but said the agreement was a ‘sensible decision which clarified the situation’.

He added: ‘Bandol Estates have assurance that they can continue to operate from the premises in the near future [while] our future development rights are protected.’

It is understood the developer will now help Bandol Estates find suitable alternative accommodation and the ‘popular’ Light Bar will continue to trade as normal in the meantime.

A revised application will be submitted in mid 2009.

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