Tower Hamlets rejects British Land's major Shoreditch Estate development in Norton Folgate

Catherine Neilan
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There were concerns about the impact on historic buildings and the conservation area (Source: Getty)
Tower Hamlets has rejected planning permission for a major new development put forward by British Land.
The council threw out proposals for the Norton Folgate scheme, otherwise known as the Shoreditch Estate, during last night's strategic development committee.
Had it been successful, the development would have comprised 320,000 sq ft of office, residential and retail floor space. British Land acquired the land from City of London two years ago.
But the development has been controversial with locals who are concerned about the demolition of historic buildings that it would necessitate. Last weekend campaigners joined hands around the neighbourhood to protest against the move.
Another concern was that the office space would only be used for one, corporate tenant, pricing local people out of the area.
A spokesman told City A.M.: “Last night at the strategic development committee, the committee resolved not to follow the officers’ recommendation to approve the Norton Folgate planning application.
“The committee raised concerns around the impact that this would have on the historic buildings and the conservation area. They also expressed concern around the general level of housing as well as affordable housing in the planning proposals.”
British Land added in a statement: "We are disappointed the planning committee didn't recognise the considerable merits of our scheme. We are now considering our options."
It is unclear what will happen to the property if it is no longer able to be developed and if it effectively becomes a white elephant for British Land; either way, the property firm is now back in talks with City of London.
A City of London spokesman confirmed: “We’re aware that British Land are considering their options and are in discussions with the company.”