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How relieved I am hijab’ arches have been pulled from Brick Lane

PUBLISHED: 21:34 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 05 October 2010

Plan for arch at Brick Lane dropped by council

Plan for arch at Brick Lane dropped by council

Dear Ed, I AM relieved as an architect living and practising in Spitalfields that Tower Hamlets has withdrawn the proposed arches for Brick Lane. No one group, whether commercial, religious or political, should ever lay claim to such a special place

Dear Ed,

I AM extremely relieved as an architect living and practising in Spitalfields here in the East End that Tower Hamlets Council has withdrawn the proposed arches for Brick Lane (Plans for Brick Lane 'hijab' arches pulled at 11th hour, Advertiser website, March 4).

Brick Lane is one of London's unique and important places, a symbol of vitality, tolerance and cultural diversity. No one group, whether commercial, religious or political, should ever lay claim to such a special place.

The large number of objections demonstrates that people cherish Brick Lane and care deeply for it as a place.

The Council's chief executive, Kevan Collins, deserves praise for handling a very difficult issue very well in trying circumstances. He must know that what Brick Lane needs is action to reduce its visual chaos and clutter.

The priorities must be better rubbish collections and the removal of industrial waste bins, pavement repairs, better signs, better provision for toilets, more enforcement officers for the market and more police to cope with rising numbers of people to the area.

Perhaps the £750,000 that was meant to be spent on improving the forlorn Allen Gardens can actually be spent in the way it was intended.

I wish the political leadership at Tower Hamlets Council had a sense of what the area really needs, rather than a desire to pursue such an ugly, divisive and unnecessary 'legacy'. The attention of the political masters is, unfortunately, elsewhere and my fear is that they will bring back the arches scheme once the local council elections on May 6 are safely out of the way.

Chris Dyson

Chris Dyson Architects

Princelet Street, Spitalfields


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