Brokenshire rejects huge Whitechapel regeneration scheme

Part of Sainsbury's Whitechapel proposals

Architect’s regret as housing secretary goes against inspector’s advice

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has used his ministerial powers to refuse planning permission for the 471-home redevelopment of a supermarket site in east London – against the advice of his planning inspector.

The findings of a planning inquiry into Sainsbury’s proposals for its 3.1ha site at Whitechapel recommended Brokenshire to approve the scheme, drawn up by Unit Architects and carried forward by Ross Hutchinson’s successor practice Hutchinson & Partners. A model of part of the scheme is on show in the Architecture Room at this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

But the housing secretary, in his just-published decision, said the scheme – which in addition to the homes would also have delivered a replacement supermarket, an energy centre and an educational facility – would have an unacceptable impact on light to existing homes and on neighbouring heritage buildings.

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