The architects involved in the development of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry have, not surprisingly, launched a defence of their scheme in Architect’s Journal, which attempts to be scrupulous within the requirements of the current owner, a New York based venture capitalist who has been behind the development of Soho House. There are some minor inaccuracies. The Factum Foundation scheme is not for a pure bell foundry; it recognises that church bells are a declining market. Instead, it proposes maintaining the existing use of the bell foundry as a fine art foundry, including the making of bells, and the character of the building as an economically sustainable, working environment, rather than turning the historic parts of the bell foundry into a wine bar and losing manufacturing from Whitechapel.
Under these circumstances, I don’t think Historic England should support change of use, not least because they are compromised by having acted as paid advisors, particularly now that they know there is an economically viable alternative:-