Petition is successful with 5,628 signatures
To: Secretary of State Eric Pickles and Planning Minister Nick Boles
SAVE Smithfield General Market!
UPDATE 28/01/15: We are delighted to report that Eric Pickles has called an inquiry on this planning decision. Thank you for taking action and signing the petition, your involvement has made all the difference in getting this success.
We are asking the Secretary of State and his Planning Minister to call the application in for a full public inquiry, to ensure that this important site is saved for the nation.
Why is this important?
Smithfield General Market is under threat. A major London landmark, the buildings are part of one of the greatest market parades in Europe built by Sir Horace Jones, the architect of Tower Bridge.
Proposals from a group of investors and developers have been approved by the City of London Corporation. These involve major demolition of the buildings only leaving 3 stretches of street frontages standing. The plans will see the interiors, including the great market halls, completely demolished to make way for offices that will rise up above the remaining facades. There are already too many empty office buildings in London - there is no need to build more. Moreover, the City has hundreds of thousands of square metres already in the pipeline not far from Smithfield.
These proposals will cause substantial harm to the conservation area and will break up a complete group of protected historic market buildings. These buildings have been standing empty for too long. We are backing a fully-funded, viable, conservation-led alternative that would preserve the General Market and Fish Market in their entirety and allow them to open within months as a food market and a place for cafes, retail, bars and restaurants.
The City of London Corporation was advised to put the site on the open market following a public inquiry five years ago, to allow a conservation-led scheme to come forward. The City, who own the freehold, never did this. We are asking the Secretary of State and his Planning Minister to call the application in for a full public inquiry, to ensure that this important site is saved for the nation.
The campaign already has the support of all the National Amenity Societies, many local businesses and residents, and notable names such as Michelin-starred chef Fergus Henderson, author and playwright Alan Bennett, and MP Glenda Jackson.
“If you go to St Bartholomew’s and then walk through Smithfield, it is like walking from one cathedral to another. You wouldn’t pull down St Bartholomew’s, nor should you pull down Smithfield. Smithfield was the scene of many martyrdoms – this would be another.” Alan Bennett
“You can’t stop change but you should be able to recognize when something is extraordinary which Smithfield General Market is! This is the time to say no.” Fergus Henderson
For more information please see SAVE's website: http://www.savebritainsheritage.org/news/campaigns.php
Link to the most recent press article, in the Financial Times, August 2nd. ‘Smithfield: Alternative option for Reviving historic London Market.’