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Smithfield Market inquiry begins

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The inquiry into the future of the abandoned Smithfield General Market in Clerkenwell, London, has started.

The hearing will determine if Kohn Pederson Fox’s (KPF) 46m-tall scheme for developer Thornfield – which will mean razing the Victorian General Market building – will win the go ahead (AJ 01.11.07).

Conservationist groups, led by English Heritage, will argue that the City of London Corporation, which owns the site, has failed to ‘market test’ the site.

Terry Farrell is among witnesses who will attack KPF’s scheme, and argue that it would create a ‘canyon’ in the heart of the Smithfield Conservation Area.

Farrell will also tell the inquiry that Smithfield has ‘a distinctive identity, defined by its townscape, architectural character and activity patterns, which needs to be respected and reinforced as the starting point for its successful regeneration.’

The inquiry began this morning at Bankside House in Southwark, south London, and is due to run until January 2008.

Department for communities and local government secretary of state, Hazel Blears, will have the final say.

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