Countdown to Spitalfields neighbourhood plan starts at Hanbury Hall tonight

PUBLISHED: 11:24 24 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:04 24 April 2017

Commercial Street in the heart of Spitalfields... the old Godfrey Phillips art deco tobacco factory

Commercial Street in the heart of Spitalfields... the old Godfrey Phillips art deco tobacco factory


Public consultations are being launched tonight for the long-awaited Spitalfields Neighbourhood Plan.

Spitalfields Forum's secretary James Francom (left) and chairman David DonoghueSpitalfields Forum's secretary James Francom (left) and chairman David Donoghue

Copies of the plan are being handed out at a public meeting at Hanbury Hall in Hanbury Street from 7pm.

“This is what the whole purpose of forming the neighbourhood forum has been about,” forum chairman David Donoghue said.

“It’s only when we have people’s views who live and work around Spitalfields that we can begin to devise a policy guide that is supported by local people.”

Spitalfields Neighbourhood boundary [based on Google map]Spitalfields Neighbourhood boundary [based on Google map]

London Assembly’s Unmesh Desai, who represents East London at City Hall, is guest speaker at the Spitalfields Forum’s general meeting where proposals are being aired about the future of the City Fringe neighbourhood at the heart of London’s East End.

The forum, officially recognised as a neighbourhood consultation body last year by Tower Hamlets council, wants comments from anyone living or working in Spitalfields to form its policy for negotiations with the town hall over the coming months.

It was set up in the face of controversial development encroachment from the City spreading into the East End, such as the proposed seven skyscrapers on the massive Bishopsgate goodsyard site.

Hanbury HallHanbury Hall

Campaigners led by Donoghue, who went on to be elected the new forum’s first chairman, or ‘Headborough’, had managed to halt the scheme last year when the new Mayor of London took office.

But Spitalfields activists and conservationists had already lost the fight over the nearby Blossom Street conservation area off Commercial Street in 2016.

They had also lost the fight to save the historic London Fruit and Wool Exchange in Brushfield Street in 2013, now demolished along with its famous wartime air-aid refuge centre known as ‘Mickey’s Shelter’—run by community leader Mickey Davis during the London Blitz—to make way for more City office blocks.

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