Spitalfields is an area undergoing rapid and far-reaching change. Several large-scale projects are being developed on the fringes of the ward, from Bishopsgate Goodsyard in the north, to Blossom Street in the west, to the Algate East area in the south. These schemes offer regeneration of unused or underused areas and significant commercial opportunities. However they also threaten to change the unique character of Spitalfields as well as placing ever increasing demands on the infrastructure of the ward. SCG is involved in every stage of the planning process to ensure the amenity of local residents and workers is adequately represented.

What involvement does SCG have?

SCG is registered with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as a consultee as part of the pre-planning process for any major planning application in Spitalfields. When a proposal is brought to its attention the SCG Committee considers:

When reviewing a planning proposal the Committee is mindful of the opinions of the membership. In particular, the Committee is guided by the results of the Members' Survey which established the most important aspects of a development, namely conservation, heritage and loss of amenity. On any given proposal members are encouraged to share their opinions with the Committee and these are incorporated into the group's final response where possible. Members are kept informed of the actions taken by the group and are given the opportunity to comment at each stage of the process. The strategy of the group is to attempt to mediate with a planning applicant on issues of concern whenever possible. This has been a productive approach and we welcome pre-planning consultations with any prospective developer.

Once a planning decision has been made, SCG aims to represent its members throughout the construction phase to ensure disruption to the local community is minimised. SCG Committee members are currently attending the LFWE liaison meetings and have arranged for surveys of properties affected by vibrations during the demolition process.

SCG does not take a position on minor proposals that are likely to have only a localised impact. The group does not get involved in neighbourly planning disputes but is happy to offer its members advice on the planning process if practicable.

Current representations

SCG has made representations in the following planning applications and matters:

existing planning permission proposed new building

Full details of all of these planning applications can be found on the searchable LBTH Planning Portal database. Please see our Twitter and Facebook feeds for further updates.

Past representations

SCG was heavily involved in the campaign to save the London Fruit and Wool Exchange from demolition and redevelopment. The proposals were rejected by Tower Hamlets and only passed after the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, exercised his executive pwer to over-rule the local planning process. However the campaign was not fruitless: significant concessions were gained from the developer including the retention of the Brushfield Street facade, an increase in the provision of affordable housing, and an uplift to the Community Infrastructure Levy.

In addition, SCG has been involved in the consulation process for many other planning proposals including those at Toynbee Hall, Christ Church crypt, 45-49 Hanbury St, Duke of Wellington pub, Tunes Hotel (Folgate Street), Bangla City site on Brick Lane, and The Exchange Building.

Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum (SNPF)

SCG welcomes the development of a Neighbourhood Planning Forum for Spitalfields. Introduced through the Localism Act 2011, Neighbourhood Plans give communities the ability to set out their vision for their local area and create their own planning policies to guide development in their neighbourhood. The Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum was set up with a steering group consisting of 3 members from the SCG Committee and 3 members from the Spitalfields Society. We retain a representative on the fully constituted SNPF Committee. On 18 December 2015 the Mayor of Tower Hamlets proclaimed the formal designation of the SNPF had been agreed in principle and will follow shortly, if we can overcome local issues.