Thousands oppose Old Truman Brewery development plans

A computer generated image of what the Old Truman Brewery development could look like.

A computer generated image of what the Old Truman Brewery development could look like. - Credit: Old Truman Brewery

More than 7,000 people have objected to plans to build a shopping mall and corporate offices on parts of the iconic Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane.

The site, which was formally the world’s largest brewery, is now a home to dozens of arts businesses, independent shops, galleries, market stalls and restaurants.

Owners want to add a part five storey office building, rooftop, storage space, gym and a shopping mall across the site, which stretches from 140 to 146 Brick Lane and 25 Woodseer Street.

But heritage groups, residents and existing business owners have said the new plans are not in keeping with the area, the work could obscure the landmark’s Grade II listed chimney and there is less need for office space post pandemic.

Tower Hamlets Council officers have recommended the plans for approval.

The Spitalfields Trust said: “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.”

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So far 7,051 people have objected to the scheme, with the council receiving just 79 letters in support.

A computer generated image of what the Old Truman Brewery development could look like.

A computer generated image of what the Old Truman Brewery development could look like. - Credit: Old Truman Brewery

Krissie Nicolson, of East End Trades Guild, said: “Tower Hamlets has one of the longest housing waiting lists in the country. The proposal that the council is gearing up to approve would only price out and push out long-established local communities and deepen the housing crisis.

“The promises of renewed business are a myth, we have seen it happen time and again – local businesses bleed out while chain stores benefit.”

Developers said the proposals have been in the pipeline for over four years and there has been “extensive consultation” with the council, residents, local workers and businesses.

“This gradual and responsive approach to the application and design process has resulted in a well-considered contextual and high quality design with appropriate uses which will improve and enhance the Brick Lane town centre,” Old Truman Brewery said in documents submitted to the council.

The local authority is due to decide on the proposal on Tuesday (April 27).

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