Irish property developer, Ballymore is placing more pressure on the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to pass unwelcome plans for a series of ugly glass pavilions housing restaurants and bars, inside Spitalfields Market. For the second time this month a planning meeting is being convened by Tower Hamlets Planning Committee to determine the future of the Market at 6.30pm on 25 June, at the Town Hall, Mulberry Place, Clove Crescent, E14. (Take DLR to East India).

The Western extension of Spitalfields Market was demolished in January 2003 to make way for the new Foster & Partners office block.

Spitalfields Market Under Threat, the campaign group fighting to preserve the character of the remaining market buildings and the surrounding conservation area views the new Ballymore plans as a continuation of attempts by corporate developers to ruin the character of one of London's best-loved, thriving London markets and architectural heritage sites. SMUT says the new plans make no provision for local shops and pose a direct threat to the success of the vibrant Sunday stall market and to the restaurant trade on Brick Lane. Owners of over 50 restaurants and small businesses on Brick Lane have already signed a petition opposing the Ballymore plans.

A spokesperson for SMUT said,

"The pre-fabricated units being proposed are ugly and clash badly with the character of the Victorian market buildings. They are clearly designed to attract only City people and will encourage a disruptive, late night drinking culture which will completely change the historic use of the market. The number of stalls in the Sunday market will be halved which will repel local people, tourists and other Londoners who prefer to visit the market as it is now - vibrant, lively and diverse."

This meeting will determine whether Tower Hamlets Council resists and challenges Ballymore's plans or is swayed by offers of financial "compensation" contained in the Section 106 agreement. SMUT urges all parties concerned about the future of the market to attend.


All journalists should direct their enquiries to the Press Office for Spitalfields Market Under Threat (SMUT):
Tel: 020 7613 5897
Mob: 07903 975 473
Mob: 07799 622 141
More background information and graphic illustrations of the new plans can be found on the campaign website:

The new planning applications made by Ballymore can be viewed on the Tower Hamlets website www.towerhamlets.gov.uk - Instructions: visit the planning reports section, click on 'Committee Reports' on the Home page to bring up document: 'Development Panel... June 25th 2003.

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24/6/03 Last updated 24/6/03

The views expressed are those of the Spitalfields Market Under Threat campaign.