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Parliament to be warned over Crossrail 'sinking buildings' fear

Parliament is to be told how the proposed £12 billion Crossrail link under London could still sink Britain's Museum of Immigration and Diversity in Spitalfields, east London.

Museum chairman Susie Symes will voice her concerns about potentially catastrophic structural damage to the 18th century building when she is called before the Commons Select Committee investigating the impact of the controversial rail route next week.

The listed former house in Princelet Street, Spitalfields, was one of a number of important buildings the AJ exclusively revealed could be under threat from 'land settlement' as a result of tunnelling in the area (AJ 17.03.05).

However, it will be the first time MPs will have heard about the collapse fears, which could also impact on historic structures in west London and on the 1960s Barbican complex.

Symes said: 'Crossrail engineers have only just visited the site and they clearly had no idea before of the physical fragility of the property.

'The running of Crossrail through this part of east London does not take significant account of our cultural heritage.'

She added: 'This museum is a quite extraordinary project and it is vital we educate people about their cultural diversity.'

Symes is expected to give evidence next Thursday before the Crossrail committee, which has been investigating the contentious proposals since the beginning of the year.

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