Because I have been focussing on the issues surrounding the development of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, I have not been paying so much attention to the development of the new hotel nearly right next door to us. It was previously a branch of Topps Tiles, a big warehouse of zero architectural interest. The site, which is immense, was bought by Travelodge. They drew up plans which, to give them their due, were subject to close consultation with the local community, most especially the Spitalfields Trust, who gave detailed advice, which was followed, on the form and character of the street frontage, so that it included a run of small shops to help integrate the development with the street.

Well, half way through the construction, they have changed the scheme, so that the hotel entrance is on the street where there is no parking, thereby ignoring the advice they were given. Tower Hamlets as the local planning authority has not objected.

You can see the relevance of this to the Bell Foundry. One set of plans is approved to obtain planning permission. And then they are changed during construction. And Tower Hamlets watches complacently as the sense of history and local community is destroyed:-


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