The campaign against John McAslan & Partners’ scheme to redevelop Smithfield Market in Farringdon has received a political boost on the eve of a public inquiry into the proposals.
Nik Slingsby, Labour candidate for the central London constituency where the market stands, announced his support for the rival scheme developed by Burrell Foley Fischer and Eric Reynolds.
It was put in for planning by Save Britain’s Heritage and the Victorian Society to the City of London Corporation in December to pave the way for a “rescue plan”.
Burrell Foley Fischer’s rival Smithfield plans
Slingsby, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster, said McAslan’s plans for Henderson Global Investors would “totally destroy [the] magnificent buildings”.
He added: “Having worked and studied close to the beautiful Smithfield Market, I fully support Save Britain’s Heritage and the Victorian Society’s planning application for the Smithfield General Market and Annex.
“Their scheme would preserve the Victorian heritage of the market while creating an urban centre of food markets, restaurants and cafes.
“This is an exciting and historically sensitive alternative to Henderson Global Investors’ radical redevelopment of the market into office blocks.”
John McAslan’s plans to overhaul London’s Smithfield Market
The McAslan scheme, which would insert six storeys of office and retail behind the Victorian facades, won planning last summer.
It was called in by communities secretary Eric Pickles two months later and the planning inquiry is due to open next week.
Slingsby, who has to overturn an 11,000 majority to oust sitting Tory MP Mark Field at next year’s general election, said the conservation bodies would “present a strong and robust case that covers the architectural merits of the buildings, the viability of bringing them back into use and the paucity of the Henderson scheme both in terms of design and sustainability”.