Whitechapel Bell Foundry (83)

Much is happening vis-à-vis the Whitechapel Bell Foundry at the moment.

In particular, there is an article which has appeared in Planning, a professional journal which can only be read behind a paywall, which makes clear that the only reason that the Planning Inspector was so emphatic in his support for the Raycliff scheme was that Christopher Pincher, a junior Minister in the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, inadvertently told MPs that Robert Jenrick was determined to turn planning permission down, which opened the government up to the risk of judicial review. This is presumably why Jenrick is so determined to make clear that the decision was not his, even though it says it was.

But there is a problem in this. If the government was so afraid of Judicial Review that the Treasury Solicitors instructed the planning inspector to find in favour of redevelopment, then this means that the whole Planning Inquiry was in retrospect a complete farce. It was not an independent Inquiry. There was a predetermined outcome. A Freedom of Information request should be able to extract the relevant documentation.

In which case, there needs to be a judicial review to make sure that due process was followed and the outcome wasn’t cooked.

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4 thoughts on “Whitechapel Bell Foundry (83)

  1. Isabel de Vasconcellos says:

    Thank you so much for following up so closely on all this, and sharing what you learn with us.

    This has clearly opened up a Russian Doll’s worth of cans of worms. (An admittedly unwieldy mashup of images, but all the more appropriate for it, I feel!).

  2. TIMOTHY HILL says:

    May I refer back to blog 80. I recall suggesting negotiations with the developer sometime ago before the enquiry. Advice had been given to you against taking such steps. The developer has little incentive to talk now in the absence of very quick action by Jenrick. I hope he is reading these blogs as a “state of Denmark” situation seems to be upon us!
    Timothy Hill

    • Yes, I am of course pondering these issues. The system is currently very adversarial, long drawn out and expensive. If there is a review of the system as a whole, as well as the particular judgment, it will, I hope, look at how it could have been done better.

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