The decision of Robert Jenrick to call in planning permission for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry will, I assume, place Historic England in an odd and potentially indefensible position of being required to publicly account for why they have consistently supported the redevelopment and effective destruction of such a historically important and valuable site.
After a bit of judicious digging, it has become clear to me that when this was first discussed by the London Advisory Committee, one of the officers argued that since it was not originally designed as a Foundry (in 1744), it was hard for them to argue for its retention as a Foundry. Isn’t this view going to look faintly ludicrous in court ? It’s been Britain’s – and, indeed, the world’s – most important Bell Foundry for over 250 years, a piece of industrial heritage of incomparable historic importance. But Historic England whose job it is to defend the heritage have never even discussed the issue at a meeting with their Commissioners, although it is hard to find this out because they don’t publish their minutes.