Saving Spitalfields (1)

The Gentle Author is doing a good job trying to save Brick Lane from redevelopment; but, as he makes clear, the problem is wider than a single site on Brick Lane.

Spitalfields as a whole remains – but only just – an incredibly lively, interesting, mixed-use, historic neighbourhood with streets of fine early eighteenth-century Huguenot houses, jammed up alongside the energy of the Indian restaurants and local community in Brick Lane. It is this mix which makes it interesting. It is being developed at great speed with the support of Tower Hamlets, whose councillors are presumably attracted by the excitement of it all, encouraged by the Mayor, John Biggs, who detests conservation. They will destroy the character of Spitalfields and are doing so surprisingly fast.

It’s an area like the North End in Boston which needs a plan on how to protect it creatively and imaginatively, not just allowing piecemeal, out-of-scale commercial shopping malls.


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