Chinese Embassy: Tower Hamlets' councillors to vote on move




  • In Business
  • 2022-12-01 06:34:28Z
  • By BBC

A decision about whether the Chinese Embassy can move to a site near the Tower of London is to be made later.

Chinese officials want to move to Royal Mint Court from its current location in Portland Place, central London.

Tower Hamlet Borough Council has received 51 objection letters from residents citing security, privacy and safety concerns.

The planning application said it would deliver "significant improvements" to the area and create up to 20 jobs.

Tower Hamlets' Strategic Development Committee will either approve, refuse or defer the plans at a meeting later.

A deferment would happen if committee members raised concerns and requested more detail beyond the scope of the planning application.

Protest outside the Chinese Embassy
Protest outside the Chinese Embassy  

The move to Royal Mint Court was first proposed by China after it purchased the site in May 2018.

The plans for the five-acre site involve partially bulldozing some of the Grade II-listed buildings and restoring others.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, residents' objections include fears it could become a terrorist target, or a site for protests against China.

One Housing Association, Tower Hamlets Homes, said it was "reasonable to expect that the relocated embassy in its new location will continue to see a sizeable number of gatherings and protests in response to international political events".

'Significant improvements'

But part of the planning application documentation says the new development will "positively benefit and enhance the environment" and would "deliver new employment opportunities and "significant improvements" to the area.

It also says it would "safeguard" the nearby Tower of London.

Last year Historic Royal Palaces, which looks after the Tower, raised concerns the new embassy would attract "large numbers of people to areas already designated as 'crowded spaces'."

The Chinese Embassy has been approached for comment.

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