Minaret shaped tower goes up in Brick Lane

AN ICONIC minaret shaped steel tower began to rise over the East End s Brick Lane today. The 90ft structure in the middle of Spitalfield s famous curry lane is being put up inches from the wall of the Jamme Masjid mosque.

AN ICONIC minaret shaped steel tower began to rise over the East End's Brick Lane today.

The 90ft structure in the middle of Spitalfield's famous curry lane is being put up inches from the wall of the Jamme Masjid mosque, a converted former synagogue founded originally as an 18th century Huguenot church, after planning permission was given by Tower Hamlets council.

Minarets are tall spires with onion shaped or pointed crowns often used by mosques to provide a visual focal point and to call to for prayer.

The tower, billed by the Town Hall as "a new iconic East End landmark" will overlook the skyline of the Georgian conservation, the historic Huguenot weaving district. Today Brick Lane is lined by a mixture of curry houses and fashionable shops and bars.

The local authority also intends to erect new arches along Brick Lane, all paid for by �8.6 million 'planning gain' cash from the nearby Bishops Square development on the 'City Fringe' near Liverpool Street station.

The cash from Bishops Square, one of the largest single payments from a developer ever received by a local authority, is also paying for open spaces on the nearby Chicksand and Holland housing estates and a new building for Osmani youth centre.