On the first day of the public inquiry into the KPF scheme (6 November) – which would raze the Victorian General Market building – opponent English Heritage (EH) was sent reeling by revelations that its star witness has drawn up proposals to gut the adjacent working meat market
A statement released by Thornfield’s PR company claimed a ‘secret’ £90 million plan had been discovered to replace the market with a media centre.
However, Farrell rang the AJ to strongly deny that the heritage body had commissioned him and to insist there was no clash of interests.
He said: ‘To mix my metaphors, [Thornfield] are grasping at straws and shooting red herrings. English Heritage did not commission me to draw up a masterplan for the market. It was a commission to write a report about the character of the area.
‘My study was one of several as to what could happen should the market move. They did not ask me to include the meat market.
‘It is not an unreasonable thing to speculate as to the future use of the building and there is no clash. English Heritage protects buildings, not their uses,’ Farrell added.