Smithfield Market: office development rejected
Eric Pickles the Communities Secretary has accused the City of London Corporation of “deliberate neglect” over the current condition of Smithfield Market and rejected John McAslan & Partners £160m proposal to fill Smithfield Market with shops and offices following the recommendation of the Inspector .The developer is Henderson Global.
In a resounding rejection Pickles said the proposals would have ” an extremely harmful effect on the historic buildings which runs entirely counter to national and policy objectives intended to protect such assets from harm”. Whilst not listed,the buildings involved in the Smithfield scheme were “heritage assets which contribute strongly to the distinctive character of the Smithfield Conservation Area”.
The Corporation was singled out for strong criticism ” the deteriorated state of the buildings is at least in part the result of the history of deliberate neglect”.
However the future of these buildings is still uncertain: Henderson Global are retaining the site and it remains to be seen whether they will do a deal with Eric Reynolds who put forward proposals to turn Smithfield into a Spitalfields-style market.
Alec Forshaw, Islington’s former Conservation Officer, was an expert witness at the Public Enquiry : his cogent Independent Appraisal on behalf of SAVE Britain’s Heritage to the Enquiry had a significant influence on the Inspector’s decision. Read Alec Forshaw’s appraisal