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Spitalfields Neighbourhood Forum Plans Next 15 Years

The Spitalfields Planning Forum has ended five years of ‘haggling’ with a deal ready for the public to decide on the future of the area with a draft neighbourhood plan that recognises the heritage of the East End.


This will be the second neighbourhood plan for the region after Tower Hamlets Council adopted the Isle Of Dogs scheme earlier in 2020, which is currently subject to a public referendum that had been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.


The Spitalfields Planning Forum has completed its plan, and set it to public consultation over the next eight weeks, before it will be formalised after the referendum in 2021, according to the East London Advertiser.


The forum’s secretary James Frankom said: “We must now carry out a public consultation by law, get council approval and have a referendum to be legally adopted.”


Many of Spitalfields organisations and businesses have had their input into the draft plan, including the East End Trades Guild, Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, the Old Truman Brewery, Spitalfields Community Group, Spitalfields City Farm and Spitalfields Society.


The chairman of the forum, David Donoghue said the plan recognises the heritage of the East End and Spitalfields and aims to protect the historic neighbourhood.


The key to the plan and the future of the area is down to small businesses. There is a thriving night-time economy and local trade at the fringe of the city, with Commercial Street and Brick Lane at its heart, and Bishopsgate and Petticoat Lane in the west to Allen Gardens in the east, Wentworth Street to the south, and Cheshire Street to the north.


The forum has been gaining support to use planning laws to keep in check any encroachment from the City and to protect its few green spaces. The draft plan includes rules that would prevent all planning applications until 2035, protecting historic buildings, as well as help for small businesses to thrive on the City Fringe.


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