Save Brick Lane - the appeal

by Heloise Palin

Save Brick Lane - the appeal

by Heloise Palin
Heloise Palin
Case Owner
I am one of the Administrators for the Spitalfields Trust who are a part of the Save Brick Lane Coalition
days to go
pledged of £15,000 stretch target from 97 pledges
Pledge now
Heloise Palin
Case Owner
I am one of the Administrators for the Spitalfields Trust who are a part of the Save Brick Lane Coalition
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Last year, the Save Brick Lane campaign challenged Tower Hamlets Council’s approval of the Truman Brewery Shopping Mall application in the High Court. Although our Judicial Review was initially unsuccessful, we have now been granted permission to Appeal and we believe we have a real chance to win. 

We are challenging Tower Hamlets Council’s act of removing an elected councillor’s statutory right to vote at a committee meeting simply because they were not present at the previous Committee meeting that considered the planning application.

A fundamental component of our democracy - the right of elected representatives to make decisions - is at stake here. In granting permission for our Appeal the judge commented:

 “…the issue raised by the proposed appeal is a novel one which is arguable with a real as opposed to fanciful prospect of success. It also seems to me to have some real general importance.”

The hearing will be held in front of three judges at the Court of Appeal on 20th  or 21st June 2023.

In order to proceed, we now need to raise £10,000 for our legal costs.

Why you should contribute

The planning application approved by Tower Hamlets last year permitted a huge ugly development with four floors of corporate offices over large retail units on Brick Lane (on part of the Old Truman Brewery site).

Over 7,000 objections were received by the council, recognising the damage this would do to the local community and the character of the area.

Despite its democratic responsibility to local people, the application was consented at a planning committee composed of only three councillors.

The harm that will be inflicted to Brick Lane if this development goes ahead will be irrevocable and it paves the way for the rest of the Old Truman Brewery to be developed in the same way – serving the interests of the owner at the expense of local people and the special character of the area.

All funds go directly to the lawyers working on our behalf. If everyone who wrote an objection letter gave a few pounds we would hit our target!

Instead of this arbitrary scheme we need a plan for the entire brewery site that reflects the needs of the community and the character of the area.

The Planning Application:

  • offers nothing to local residents whose needs are for homes, affordable work spaces and open green space.
  • is far too tall and bulky and will ruin the Brick Lane & Fournier Street Conservation Area
  • will undermine the authentic cultural quality of Brick Lane
  • is for vast new corporate offices, not needed in this post-Covid world
  • causes up to 60% loss of light to residents opposite on Woodseer Street

It is essential for Spitalfields and the Bangladeshi community that this planning application is rejected so that:

  • the character of Brick Lane is not destroyed by corporate development
  • the diverse community is not priced out
  • the large Old Truman Brewery site at the heart of Spitalfields is redeveloped in a sympathetic manner that responds to the needs of the community
  • the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is held accountable for its planning decisions


The Save Brick Lane campaign is a coalition of diverse groups who have come together in opposition to the planning application to build a large corporate office building with a retail parade in the heart of Brick Lane.

The planning application received 7,487 letters of objection (a phenomenal number), a letter of opposition signed by 140 Brick Lane traders and a letter of objection signed by 556 local residents. Despite this overwhelming public rejection, 2 Councillors approved the application at a planning committee of only 3 people. We, the coalition, do not feel this is democratic.

Brick Lane, its character and community are important, that much has been proven, we now need your continued support with our legal challenge.

If this scheme goes ahead Brick Lane as a place of diversity and character and a home for the Bangladeshi community will disappear. Spitalfields is rich in history and its physical character should be protected by the planning system against large, insensitive development.

For further information please see

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