Planning permission has been refused on appeal for Time Out Markets Ltd’s proposal for a fine dining food market in former horse stables behind frontage properties on Commercial Street opposite Spitalfields Market. The site, a 3-storey Victorian stables building, is landlocked by properties fronting onto surrounding streets and is overlooked from the rear of Grade II listed Georgian houses on Wilkes Street to the north. The stables building is unlisted but lies within the Brick Lane and Fournier Street Conservation Area and is close to Hawkmoor’s Grade I listed Christ Church, Spitalfields.
The appeal proposal was for 17 kitchens under one roof providing a variety of dining options, including signature presentations by Michelin starred chefs, modelled on Time Out’s existing operation in the Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon. Time Out plans to open similar outlets for London, New York, Miami, Montreal and Boston.
Planning permission was refused by Tower Hamlets Borough Council contrary to officers’ recommendation on grounds of heritage impact, noise disturbance to neighbouring occupiers and safety of design and access.
The Inspector found that the proposed grey bitumen roof which would replace the existing (although modern) slate roof of the stables building would have a negative impact on the significance of the conservation area. He nevertheless did not find any harm to the settings of the neighbouring listed buildings. He also did not agree with members’ concerns over noise, safety of access and acceptability of design, save for the intended location of the single proposed accessible toilet up on the second floor.
A copy of the Inspector’s decision letter can be found here.
Meyric Lewis represented Tower Hamlets in resisting the appeal.