Have your say on plans to turn Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a boutique hotel

Update: 02/10/2020: The public inquiry into turning the Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a boutique hotel takes place on 6 Tuesday October. You can have your say by emailing Development.Control@TowerHamlets.gov.uk  for more information on how you can attend the inquiry meeting.

Raycliff Capital has submitted plans to Tower Hamlets Council for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry to be changed from a foundry to a hotel.

Most of the foundry site has Grade II* listed status. Raycliff have proposed replacing a non-listed 1980s building at the rear of the site with a 108 room hotel.

The application has sparked fresh protest from the Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry campaign, which believes the heritage of the building should be preserved.

The Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life, a leading voice in the campaign to save the foundry, has been unconvinced by the developer’s ‘heritage-led design.’

The Gentle Author said: ‘The reality is they are reducing the foundry use by more than 90%. In spite of this attempt to muddy the waters, I think the difference between a boutique hotel and a bell foundry is quite obvious.’

The alternative proposed by protesters is that the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust and Factum Foundation buy the buildings and re-open them as a foundry for bell production and art casting.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry closed in June 2017 after nearly 450 of bell making. Its most famous bells include Big Ben, Bow Bells, and the Liberty Bell.

The East End Preservation Society delivered a Change.org petition with 10,000 signatures to Downing Street in 2017, which objected to the repurposing of the foundry.

Whether you support or oppose the proposals, it is important that you make your voice heard to those in a position to affect them.

How to comment effectively

Use your own words and add your own personal reasons for supporting or opposing the development. Any letters which simply duplicate the same wording will count only as one comment.

1. Quote the application reference: PA/19/00008/A1

2. Give your full name and postal address. You do not need to be a resident of Tower Hamlets or of the United Kingdom to register a comment but unless you give your postal address your comment will be discounted.

3. Be sure to state clearly whether you are SUPPORTING or OBJECTING to Raycliff Capital’s application.

4. Point out what you think the ‘OPTIMUM VIABLE USE’ for the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is.

5. Request in clear language that the council either accept or refuse Raycliff Capital’s application for change of use from foundry to hotel.

Where to send your comment

You can write an email to



you can post your comment direct on the website by following this link to Planning and entering the application reference PA/19/00008/A1


you can send a letter to

Town Planning, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG

Visit spitalfieldslife.com for more information on the campaign

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Frederick O'Brien

Fred is a writer and researcher with a background in sustainable development. His research has featured in The Independent, the Evening Standard, and the New York Post, among others.

3 thoughts on “Have your say on plans to turn Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a boutique hotel

  • Unclear if this is a news article or opinion piece. If the former, then surely ‘How to comment effectively’ rather than ‘object’?

    • Hi P. It is supposed to be a news article, and you’re right. We’ve updated the language of the guide to reflect that. Whether people are for or against the proposals, the most important thing is that they make their stance clear. Thank you for getting in touch about this.

      • Great – really appreciate your reply. I attended an early meeting of the Bow Neighbourhood Forum and a comment from a member of the audience stuck in my mind: ‘So will you notify us when to send in our objections to planning applications?’ Not everything is great but not everything is awful either.


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