Gerald Eve Advises On Important Planning Victory For London’s Economic Growth

The Mayor of London last night approved plans for the redevelopment of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange in London’s Spitalfields.

Boris Johnson gave his approval for the plans, submitted by Exemplar, at a hearing in City Hall. The facade of the building will remain and 387,000 sq ft of office space will be created. The plans also make provision for the creation of 32,000 sq ft of retail space.

A carpark at the site will be demolished as well as a portion of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange in order to make space for the six storey-office development.

The plans will generate a contribution of more than £2m towards Crossrail.

The plans were originally rejected by Tower Hamlets Council, despite being recommended by the borough’s planning officers, but an extension of powers granted in 2008 enabled mayor Johnson able to ‘take over’ the application.

Hugh Bullock senior partner and head of planning for Gerald Eve, who represented Exemplar at last night’s hearing in City Hall said:”The Mayor’s support is very much to be welcomed. It was a critically important call because on a strategic level this scheme will make a major contribution to the wider London economy. It is also significant on the local level as it marks another important step in the continued enhancement and renewal of the Spitalfields area. Exemplar’s scheme designed by Rab Bennetts is very well conceived as it boosts the capital’s offer and is also sympathetic to its local surroundings.”

Boris Johnson said: “The historic London Fruit and Wool Exchange, in the heart of London’s East End, is a former commercial epicentre to which producers and buyers flocked from miles around to do business.

“These plans will not only restore the façade to its former glory, but regenerate the Spitalfields area with thousands of new jobs, and brand new commercial opportunities. It will also make a vital contribution to the wider London economy and have a significant impact not just on Tower Hamlets but on surrounding boroughs as well.

“I can find no reason to refuse permission and am of the firm view that this ambitious and important redevelopment should go ahead.”

Exemplar expect the scheme to complete in 2015.