6th – 28th October 2020
Public Inquiry – Virtual, online event via Microsoft Teams
On 6th October, at 10am, the public inquiry that will start to decide the future of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, will take place as a virtual event.
Your support and presence are needed more than
ever: this is the chance make your voice heard and prevent the Whitechapel Bell
Foundry from becoming a boutique-hotel based on the model of Soho House.
The caterer identified by Raycliff (who will occupy a significant part of the
historic building if the planning decision is upheld) is the Major Food Group
who run 22 themed-restaurants in the US and were responsible for the
controversial redesign of the Landmark protected restaurant in the Seagram
building in New York, described as ‘one of the greatest modernist
buildings ever built’.
As Edgar Bronfman Jr, former Chief Executive of the Seagram Company said:
“What is at stake here is whether ownership trumps preservation, whether deception triumphs over transparency and whether the wealth, power and influence of a building’s proprietors can trample both the fundamental integrity of an historic space and the commission created to protect and preserve such spaces.’’
Please save the dates and attend the public inquiry starting on 6th October, via Microsoft Teams.
The inspector has indicated that the day for representations from members of the public is 27th October 2020.
Alternatively you can take part by telephone.
Here is how you can attend to the online event:
- Requests to attend and/or speak at the Public Inquiry should be sent to ElizabethHumphrey at PINS by email to ELIZABETH.HUMPHREY@planninginspectorate.gov.uk
- Or in writing by post to:
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
- Requests should be CC’d to the officer handling the appeal at LBTH (Simon Westmorland Simon.Westmorland@towerhamlets.gov.uk).
- It is also advised to also CC to Development.Control@TowerHamlets.gov.uk
- Representations should refer to the appeal reference APP/E5900/V/20/3245430 and the LBTH application reference numbers PA/19/00008 (FPP) and PA/19/00009 (LBC).
“The future of bell making is bright. The churches are no longer the main commissioners of bells but the market is diversifying and new opportunities exist around the world, from courtyard houses in China via the use of scanning and re-making for preservation to the creation of bell-related editions with artists.”
Founder of Factum Foundation
Over the past years, Factum Foundation and Re-Form Heritage have been fighting to demonstrate that a viable future, answering local and international needs, is possible for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. It is possible to reinvigorate the site and turn it into a working foundry again, specialising in the production of bells and works of art, together with a 3D and acoustic archive and research centre which will conduct bell recording, undertake research into historic casting methods, and develop machine learning predictive software to assist in the preservation of bells around the country and beyond.
We want to thank all 25,000 people who signed the petition, our supporters in the Mosque, the readers of the Spitalfield’s Life blog, and all those who were present during the protests and worked with us to reach this critical stage of our campaign to preserve and revitalise Britain’s oldest single-purpose industrial building. If many of you turn up to the inquiry, it will make the difference!
The bells cast at Whitechapel are the voices of nations: they mark the world’s celebrations and sorrows, representing principles of emancipation, freedom of expression and justice. These buildings, and the skills that have for centuries been honed within them, represent some of the most important intangible cultural heritage in Britain.
For those interested in supporting the initiative to save and revitalise the Bell Foundry in Whitechapel, there are a number of ways to be of assistance beyond attending the Inquiry:
- Share the website Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry with your contacts.
- Here you can sign a petition to register your support. We also need donations to fight the public inquiry. Winning the public inquiry is the first step. After this, we will have to acquire the building and carry out our ambitious plans.
- By visiting www.savethewhitechapelbellfoundry.com and clicking on “Donate”, you will be redirected to Re-Form’s website where it is possible to make a donation, filling the amount of your choice.
- Further information is available on Spitalfields Life, the inspirational blog devoted to life in the East End.
- Visit Factum Foundation’s online page and see the development of the fight to keep the site as a working bell foundry.
- We are also looking for people in historic and preservation societies who are interested in learning how new technology can help create an archive of various types of information that will help revitalise interest in bells, their production and their digital and physical restoration. We need your support to build a network that will allow these noble objects to be valued and appreciated. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.