Search

Battle lost for Norton Folgate as Mayor Boris Johnson waves through redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 16:12 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:18 19 January 2016

Area of Norton Folgate British Land wants to bulldoze

Area of Norton Folgate British Land wants to bulldoze

Spitz Trust

Conservationists have lost the fight to save a Georgian quarter of London from encroachment by new office towers after London Mayor Boris Johnson gave the green light to developers.

The Mayor used his executive powers yesterday push through plans by British Land in partnership with the City of London Corporation to redevelop parts of the ancient Liberty of Norton Folgate.

Where high-rise office blocks are planned at Norton FolgateWhere high-rise office blocks are planned at Norton Folgate

The development, already rejected twice by Tower Hamlets Council, comes after a summer of public campaigns by the Spitalfields Trust, led by TV historian Dan Cruickshank, to preserve the character of the neighbourhood around Folgate Street and Blossom Street, outside the City Corporation boundary.

Boris rejected evidence by the Spitalfields Trust presented to the City Hall public hearing.

The trust even made an offer to buy the properties that the City Corporation has been snapping up over the past two years with the backing of a wealthy Danish tycoon.

Boris Johnson... executive mayor decisionBoris Johnson... executive mayor decision

But it all came to nothing with a wave of Boris’s executive hand.

Now the ‘More Light, More Power’ campaign fighting a similar battle close by to stop a “Berlin Wall of skyscrapers” being built at the former Bishopsgate goods yard site fear a similar fate, when Boris decides in March.

“Of the 14 planning applications Boris Johnson has called in so far, all 100 per cent have been decided in favour of the developers,” campaign founder David Donoghue said.

David Donoghue at a 'More Light, More Power' protest to stop Bishopsgate skyscrapersDavid Donoghue at a 'More Light, More Power' protest to stop Bishopsgate skyscrapers

“Both Tower Hamlets and Hackney councils have voted against the Bishopsgate development with its ‘Berlin Wall’ of skyscrapers throwing shadow over a vast area of Shoreditch, while 6,500 members of the public signed our petition against it.

“But it’s hard to believe the Bishopsgate scheme will be a fair hearing. Shoreditch deserves a better use of what is public land.”

The campaigners are calling for an alternative development of mid-rise high density with genuine local jobs and affordable housing to “improve the area, not cast it into darkness and undermining the environment of surrounding neighbourhoods”.

Campaigners figiting Bishopsgate development at ShoreditchCampaigners figiting Bishopsgate development at Shoreditch

It is similar to the alternative proposals put forward yesterday by the Spitalfields Trust for Norton Folgate, even offering to buy the properties already snapped up by the City Corporation.

But this was thrown out yesterday by Mayor Johnson after being approached by British Land.

Meanwhile, hustings are being held on Thursday evening for candidates from all political parties for the London Mayor elections in May on where they stand on the Bishopsgate issue. It takes place at 7pm at Shoreditch Church.

Latest East London News Stories

08:36

Some police in Tower Hamlets will be deployed on “public order aid” duties today following the terrorist attack in Westminster.

Yesterday, 18:00

A warning shot has been fired by the Salvation Army’s world leader on a visit London’s deprived East End about closing doors on people when the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 next week to quit the EU.

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman and two members of the public are among four people killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

Yesterday, 16:16

A ukulele orchestra is calling on all uke players to join them in a Red Nose Day flashmob outside London Liverpool Street station.

Two people have died and others are seriously injured in a suspected terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

Yesterday, 15:26

Ambitious expansion plans to rejuvenate east London’s historic Geffrye Museum have taken a major step forward today with a £12.3 million National Lottery windfall.

Yesterday, 14:51

The final public hearing opened today in the nine-year legal battle to stop developers “encroaching” on east London’s historic George Tavern music venue.

Yesterday, 14:17

A domestic violence campaigner who has battled cancer and suffered the loss of a child has written a book in honour of inspirational mothers.

Live

Yesterday, 16:37

A policeman and two members of the public are among four people killed in a major terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

View Live

Breaking news

Yesterday, 15:32

Two people have died and others are seriously injured in a suspected terrorist incident at the Houses of Parliament.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now