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Plans to develop Truman Brewery continue to take shape with one week left to submit objections

PUBLISHED: 17:02 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:40 19 June 2020

A visualisation of the finished development on the junction of Brick Lane and Woodseer Street, as submitted in a recent application by The Old Truman Brewery Ltd. Picture: The Old Truman Brewery Ltd

A visualisation of the finished development on the junction of Brick Lane and Woodseer Street, as submitted in a recent application by The Old Truman Brewery Ltd. Picture: The Old Truman Brewery Ltd

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Plans to redevelop the Truman Brewery in Spitalfields continue to take shape, with one week left to submit objections.

The Truman Brewery in its current guise. The Spitalfields site is subject to ongoing plans for commercial developments, including office space, restaurants and a gym. Picture: The Gentle AuthorThe Truman Brewery in its current guise. The Spitalfields site is subject to ongoing plans for commercial developments, including office space, restaurants and a gym. Picture: The Gentle Author

Old Truman Brewery Limited — the developer — initially submitted their planning statement on February 27, which details the scope of the application.

The proposal includes 6,500 sqm of office space, 2,650 sqm of retail space, 500 sqm of restaurant space and 1,250 sqm of gym space, and runs across three sites; 140 and 146 Brick Lane, and 25 Woodseer Street.

Should permission be granted, a part two, part four-storey office building would be built on 140 Brick Lane, with number 146 on the same street shifting from office to commercial use.

The building on 25 Woodseer Street would be refurbished by performing a two-storey upward extension alongside a side extension.

A visualisation of Woodseer Street with the new development on the left, as proposed in plans submitted by The Old Truman Brewery Ltd. Picture: The Old Truman Brewery LtdA visualisation of Woodseer Street with the new development on the left, as proposed in plans submitted by The Old Truman Brewery Ltd. Picture: The Old Truman Brewery Ltd

According to the planning statement, meetings took place with a number of groups ahead of the February submission, including community groups, Woodseer Street residents and ward councillors.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs has also received a written brief of the plans, for which there was a public exhibition across two days in March last year.

A number of changes were made to the proposed development in response to the feedback received, which the statement described as “broadly positive”. One of the community groups consulted was The Spitalfields Trust, with pre-submission meetings held in May, September and November 2019 respectively.

The trust has released a statement post-submission, listing a number of outstanding issues with what it considers “an ill-conceived development”.

It reads: “The Truman Brewery development is a short-sighted, poorly and insensitively designed scheme based on an antiquated business model. “Rather than providing much needed housing and affordable workspace, it seeks to introduce buildings inappropriate to the conservation area, which will destroy its appearance and character to the detriment of residents and the local community.”

In response to this statement, a spokesperson for the Old Truman Brewery said: “Our approach to the plans and consultation reaffirms our enduring commitment to the area. The regenerated site will support job creation and the establishment of a number of new businesses.

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“We are grateful for feedback from the community, which has helped to shape a scheme that is sensitive to the character of this unique part of Tower Hamlets. We look forward to continued engagement with our neighbours throughout the planning process.”

The developer told the East London Advertiser that it has launched a project website to ensure this engagement.

With the plans now in the hands of the council, all objections are to be sent to senior planner Patrick Harmsworth by June 26.

Beyond likely opposition from the above-mentioned groups, recent correspondence from the greater London archaeological advisory service (GLAAS) may also prove a roadblock to the plans.

According to documents publicly available on the council’s website, archeology advisor Adam Single wrote to Mr Harmsworth on May 19 to outline concerns regarding the lack of archeological assessment included in the application.

In describing the potential development area as one of “archeological interest”, Mr Single stated his “surprise” at this omission.

He added: “If you do not receive more archaeological information before you take a planning decision, I recommend that you include the applicant’s failure to submit that as a reason for refusal.”

The developer said: “We have appointed an archaeological consultant who will be undertaking the archaeological assessment requested by the greater London archaeological advisory service as part of the application.”

On this and all other matters, a spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council offered the following statement: “This application will be considered by the council the usual way.

We will give full consideration to all representations made by residents and local organisations, including on the importance of heritage which is always a key consideration.

It would be inappropriate for us to comment further while the planning process is underway.”

Notably, the development was given the green light by Thames Water on May 27; a positive Health Impact Asssessment (HIA) was also completed in April.

Objections should be sent to Patrick.Harmsworth@towerhamlets.gov.uk by Friday June 26, quoting planning application PA/20/00415/A1.


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