The controversial Norton Folgate designed by AHMM, Duggan Morris, DSDHA and Stanton Williams is to proceed after a legal challenge by campaigners was dismissed by the High Court in London yesterday
The Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust had sought a judicial review of a decision by former London mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year granting planning permission for the scheme on the City Fringe. Johnson decided to use his mayoral powers to personally intervene and deal with the planning application after Tower Hamlets council rejected the proposals last year.
The campaigners argued he had failed to follow correct procedures and that officials at the Greater London Assembly (GLA) had not properly considered.
But Justice Gilbart, a planning judge, upheld Johnson’s decision and dismissed the Trust’s application for a judicial review.
In his ruling, which was released yesterday (10 May), he described the GLA report approving the proposed development as ’a very full and comprehensive one, which deals with all the objections to the development very fairly’.
The decision is the latest stage in a long-running row over plans by British Land to redevelop the streets and buildings dating back to the 18th century in an area called Norton Folgate, on the edge of Spitalfields.
The developer intends to build 33,040m² of office space, 3,550m² of shops and restaurants, 40 apartments, and 1,400m² of public space in its ‘Blossom Street’ development.
Responding to the ruling, a spokesman for British Land said it will ’help pave the way for the long overdue rejuvenation’ of the area. ’We look forward to providing the new homes for emerging businesses which this location so badly needs,’ they added.
In a joint statement, AHMM, Duggan Morris, DSDHA and Stanton Williams, the four architectural firms involved in the scheme, told the AJ: “As a team we remain committed to delivering an appropriate and sensitive response to the site and we are delighted to have taken a step further towards revitalising this important part of Spitalfields.”
The Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, led by architectural historian Dan Cruickshank, an honorary fellow of RIBA, has been fighting a running battle against the proposals for more than a year, warning that the new development will destroy part of London’s heritage with the demolition of many buildings in the area.The Trust had even drawn up its own alternative plans for the site with architect John Burrell of Burrell Foley Fisher (pictured bottom).
In response to its defeat at the High Court, the Trust will hold a trustees meeting this evening (11 May) and plans to make a public comment tomorrow, Cruickshank told the AJ.
the spitalfields trusts proposals for norton folgate lr