Judge upholds Boris Johnson’s controversial call-in

Boris Johnson’s decision to approve AHMM’s masterplan to redevelop a chunk of historic Spitalfields has been backed in the High Court.

Mr Justice Gilbart upheld the former London mayor’s decision to call in plans drawn up by the Stirling Prize-winning practice for British Land in the Norton Folgate neighbourhood on the edge of the City of London.

In January, Johnson granted planning permission and listed building consent for the scheme, known as Blossom Street, which will see a number of buildings in the historic Liberty of Norton Folgate demolished.

Other architects working on the scheme include DSDHA, Duggan Morris, Stanton Williams and East who are all working on individual buildings.

Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust submitted a legal challenge to Johnson’s call-in decision. The heritage body argued that the mayor’s move had been “predetermined” because his office had told British Land’s consultants that he would call it in just a day after local planning authority Tower Hamlets rejected it.

The 32,000sq m scheme consists of seven buildings, comprising mainly office space along with 13 shops and 40 apartments.

However Mr Justice Gilbart dismissed the trust’s application and refused the trust permission to appeal.

A British Land spokesman said: “British Land welcomes this decision, which will help pave the way for the long overdue rejuvenation of the Blossom Street area. We look forward to providing the new homes for emerging businesses which this location so badly needs.”