Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Report this comment to a moderator

Please fill in the form below if you think a comment is unsuitable. Your comments will be sent to our moderator for review.
By submitting your information you agree to our Privacy & Cookie Policy.

Report comment to moderator

Required fields.


Jennings: 'People are tired of being duped by developers'


Two years ago Bennetts Associates was involved in a similar project in Spitalfields and we came across the same difficulty of opposition groups, supporter groups, mis-information and consultation, all of which achieved precious little. Tower Hamlets Council refused planning permission against officers' advice and it was 'called in' by Boris Johnson who gave consent. The problem with campaigners who find a voice through the internet is knowing who they really do represent. We came to the view that, whilst some people had a genuine reason to dislike aspects of our scheme, many others actually supported it but didn't have the organisation to express those views (other than to the planning authority). The planning policies for the site, with which we complied, had of course been arrived at democratically through the decisions of councillors who had been elected for the purpose. By contrast, there were several local community groups (including the one led by Dan Cruickshank) who seemed to be saying different things. Twitter and online petitions are a really significant development in terms of local expression of opinion but (a) they are open to gross misrepresentations and (b) there is no way of knowing if the opinions are truly representative of the community as a whole. We always engage in what we hope is proper consultation but when the sides are as opposed as they are in Spitalfields it is well nigh impossible to avoid confrontation. The very best schemes do not come out of that process.

Posted date

27 August, 2015

Posted time

11:06 am