In reflecting on the first day of the proceedings of the Public Inquiry into the proposed conversion of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a hotel, there is an obvious and glaring weakness in Raycliff’s case. That is, that during the hearings on the first day, it became clear that, as one would expect, Alan and Kathryn Hughes, the fourth-generation owners of the Bell Foundry, had very good links with other companies in their line of business, not least through their fellow membership of one of the city livery companies. So, the obvious question is: what effort did they make to transfer the business to others in the same trade, including the offer of a management buy-out, before they sold it on the open market to Vince Goldstein ? And can they document these attempts ? One is left with the strongest possible impression that they made no effort whatsoever to keep it going as a Foundry in order to maximise the commercial benefit of a sale to a developer and chose to ignore the legal requirement for a change of use, assuming that if they couldn’t make a commercial success of it, nobody else could. But this doesn’t stack up as an argument when you look at the legal requirement for change of use.