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Future of former job centre decided tonight

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:55 05 October 2010

THE future of a 1930s job centre which historians have fought to get locally listed will be decided tonight as plans to tear it down go under the spotlight.

by Gemma Collins

THE future of a 1930s job centre which historians have fought to get locally listed will be decided tonight as plans to tear it down go under the spotlight.

Proposals to demolish the Poplar Employment Exchange in Burdett Road, Limehouse and build a part six and 11-storey tower block in its place will be debated by Tower Hamlets council's Strategic Development Committee at the Town Hall.

Historian Tom Ridge has called for the building, developed by the Office of Works in 1933 which has been empty for three years, to be locally listed and to include it in a conservation area which could give it more protection from demolition.

And the 20th Century Society, Save Britain's Heritage and the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society have all backed his call to keep it retained, insisting it is of "historical" and "architectural" merit.

English Heritage dismissed calls earlier this year for it to be listed, but debates over whether it could be included in a conservation area are still ongoing.

Officers have recommended councilors grant permission for the development which would include 56 flats and insist it would allow "more efficient use to be made of the land".


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