I have been asked by several people if anything can be done to save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
The answer is as follows:-
1. The Gentle Author, who writes the blog Spitalfields Life, has established a website, Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which includes all the relevant information about how to object to the planning application from Raycliff Capital.
2. The planning application will be heard by Tower Hamlets Planning Committee on July 30th.
3. The local MP is Rushanara Ali (firstname.lastname@example.org). I don’t know if she has so far been involved.
4. A key point to the planning application is that the Foundry cannot continue purely as a Foundry. But there is an alternative scheme which has been drawn up by the United Kingdom Preservation Trust, which saved Middleport Pottery, to keep the Foundry as a Foundry, run by Factum Foundation which has a profitable Foundry in Madrid. So, how can they say that it can’t continue as a Foundry ?
5. I don’t know any members of the Tower Hamlets Planning Committee. If you do, please encourage them to turn the application down.
6. The other preservation societies SAVE, the Ancient Monuments Society, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings have so far not been very effective or co-ordinated in voicing their objection, hampered by the fact that Historic England, the statutory body, has taken the lead in supporting the application to turn the building into a boutique hotel. If you have any influence in these organisations, please encourage them to get involved. SAVE, in particular, has a good track record of intervening at a late stage.
7. The most likely factor to persuade Tower Hamlets not to grant permission is that it’s not a great idea to have a posh hotel with late night boozing and swimming parties on the roof right next door to the local mosque. The mosque will hate it.