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Next round tonight in Spitalfields ‘battle of the booze bars’ at Tower Hamlets Council

PUBLISHED: 09:42 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:10 10 May 2017

Plan to turn this historic former stables in Spitalfields into restaurant complex for 500 diners. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

Plan to turn this historic former stables in Spitalfields into restaurant complex for 500 diners. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

Mike Brooke

Developers return tonight to try and persuade Tower Hamlets council to let them convert an historic building in east London once used as Victorian omnibus stables into a food court with 17 restaurants and four bars.

Entrance to 106 Commecial Street. built 1842. Picture: MIKE BROOKEEntrance to 106 Commecial Street. built 1842. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

The controversial proposal by Time Out Markets is in the neighbourhood of Spitalfields which protesters say is already “filled with drinking dens”.

It goes before the council’s development committee at the town hall at 7.30pm for a decision to change the use of the building and turn it into a trendy City Fringe eatery, despite previously having its proposed booze license rejected.

Campaigners packed the public gallery at the council’s licensing committee in March when councillors called “time out” to the company’s plans the first time round to turn the premises at 106 Commercial Street, opposite Old Spitalfields Market complex, into a 500 seat restaurant and bar complex. They included 70 objections from neighbours, conservation trusts and local groups.

“Spitalfields is already chock full of pubs, bars and drinking dens,” the area’s Neighbourhood Forum chairman David Donoghue told the East London Advertiser at the time. “It would have led to rising anti-social behaviour—we’re already fed up with nightly disturbances and street violence.”

David Donoghue and Spitalfields campaigners at Tower Hamlets Council. Picture: MIKE BROOKEDavid Donoghue and Spitalfields campaigners at Tower Hamlets Council. Picture: MIKE BROOKE

But the developers are back this-evening for another stab at turning the old stables that once housed London Omnibus Company horses into a “food court” with 17 restaurants and four bars, situated next to historic 18th century Huguenot silkweavers’ houses.

But the campaigners insist the Victorian building isn’t suitable for so many revellers on top of what Spitalfields puts up with in the East End’s booming night economy. The council’s development committee decides by 9pm.


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