Things are hotting up on the Whitechapel Bell Foundry front as the opening of the Inquiry approaches. Raycliff are using the resources of their considerable PR machine to distribute fake leaflets pretending that their plan is to ‘Save’ the Bell Foundry. It’s an odd form of salvation to demolish half of it, put a cafe/bar into most of the rest of it, and erect a towering hotel next door, but I suppose these are well known tactics in the media world.
Meanwhile, there is an interesting post on twitter which points out that there are already 15 hotels in E1, our postal district, including a large Travelodge which opened this week next door to us and a 280-room Hyatt Hotel right opposite the Bell Foundry on the Whitechapel Road. I presume that the legal arguments will revolve round whether or not it is legitimate to allow change of use. I would hope that Raycliff’ s expensive lawyers might find it difficult to argue that it is in the public interest to allow the ending of using the Bell Foundry as a foundry, an activity which is increasingly unusual, and converting it into a hotel when there are already over 1,000 hotel bedrooms available in just over a square mile.