Communities secretary Eric Pickles has backed the decision to refuse planning permission for the ‘wholly unacceptable’ redevelopment of Smithfield Market.
Pickles has upheld the Planning Inspector’s recommendation that the £160m proposal be denied planning permission, saying the development would be harmful to the historic development.
Pickles concluded that the proposal to demolish parts of the market buildings would be to the ‘great detriment of the surrounding area’.
He said: ‘I consider that the proposed development would not be consistent with Government policies requiring good design or in planning for conserving and enhancing the historic environment.
‘While the proposal would be consistent with some local development plan policies promoting intensification, rejuvenation and regeneration, it would not be consistent with those policies intended to protect the historic environment from harmful development, to which I give more weight.’
The decision has been welcomed by Save, who had been campaigning to protect the market interiors. SAVE’s solicitor, David Cooper, said: ‘This is an overwhelming victory for common sense. The decision follows SAVE’s argument to the letter. It places importance and significance of the Smithfield General Market interiors in their correct context and accepts SAVE’s argument that the right way of dealing with the neglected buildings is to conserve the existing fabric.’
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