Historic England

It has become clear to me that I am not the only person who has been very disappointed by Historic England’s refusal to do anything whatsoever to protect and preserve the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which one might have thought was close to their most fundamental duty: to protect the historic built environment where it is at risk of redevelopment. Instead, it has taken two lines: the first is that it is not its duty to protect a building just because of the historic interest of its use, as if historic archaeology is not, and should not be, its concern; and the second is that that turning the Foundry into a posh hotel is a good example of adaptive re-use.

It made its decision just before Roger Bowdler moved over to the private sector to give advice to clients on how to get round the rules of Historic England and it has refused to pay attention to, let alone promote, the virtues of the rival scheme, drawn up by the United Kingdon Historic Building Preservation Trust, a not-for-profit charity.

What hope do we have that the Bell Foundry can be preserved if Historic England claims that it is none of its concern ?



3 thoughts on “Historic England

  1. Jane de Sausmarez says:

    It is shocking that Historic England should behave in such a cavalier way.
    One wonders what there role is, given their title?

  2. Charles, these comments are ill-informed and sour, and do you no credit. My leaving Historic England had nothing to do with peddling the sort of service you describe. I have had no involvement in the foundry, bar one site visit from a listing perspective. Where do you draw your opinions from?

    • Dear Roger, If I am wrong that it was you who gave the advice that led Historic England not to make efforts to save the Bell Foundry, then I was misinformed and apologise. But I still think it is deeply sad and a building which Historic England should be making every effort to protect. Charles

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