English Heritage has welcomed a Government decision to refuse planing permission for the demolition of the General Market building at Smithfield Market.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears refused permission after accepting that the planned demolition would damage the area’s character and deciding that the existing buildings make “a significant contribution” to the area’s appearance.
Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said the decision “proves that the historic environment is about much more than just individual listed buildings – this is an acknowledgement of the many unlisted – but not unloved – buildings which collectively create a powerful sense of place and positively contribute to the fabric of the city.””
Mr Thurley called on local authorities to “take note of this important decision, which is a timely reminder of their duty to safeguard the special character of conservation areas in their care as well as historic buildings, listed or not, for the contribution they make.”
The plans for developing the area where brought forward by Thornfield Properties and the City of London. Thurley said he expected the City of London Corporation “to take the opportunity to bring forward a creative scheme for the repair and re-use of the General Market Building, Annex and Red House Cold Store, to enable them to fully contribute to the important conservation area in which they sit.”