Developers are trying to build a giant 21-storey tower block just three metres from Bevis Marks Synagogue, the historic and world-famous Sephardi shul in the City of London. Jews with a connection to the iconic building (and local gentiles fed up with the ongoing disregard of community needs and the richness of our architectural heritage, represented by this and other ‘developments’ such as The Denizen) now have less than two weeks to object, after a planning application was submitted for the glass-fronted retail and office block rising skywards just yards from the UK’s oldest synagogue. Sephardi leaders in the UK said it would “tower over” the Grade I listed 300-year old building and are now “calling the community to action,” urging people to write and tell City of London planners what they think.
Those familiar with the City of London council will not be surprised by the news that after landing a huge grant from the Mayor of London’s housing investment scheme, it has quietly dropped its plan to build 3700 new council homes by 2025. Likewise it would be silly to take at all seriously the claim: “The corporation said its budget for building new homes had come under pressure…” The modest size of this ‘pressured’ budget is a political decision; the Corporation could cease spending the millions in interest generated by its City’s Cash sovereign wealth fund on lobbying for neo-liberal economic policies and instead use the money for house building. However this is unlikely to happen until there is democratic reform of the local authority and the council chamber ceases to be controlled by undemocratic business votes.Read more "City of London’s Neo-Liberal Politics Puts Londoners’ Housing Needs Last"