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Foundry's demolitions is decided
Plans for Art'otel approved
by Julia Gregory
11 February 2010
PLANS to build a 17-storey Art'otel in Shoreditch have got the green light, meaning that a popular arts wnue that has hosted shows by Pete Doherty and Kate Nash will be demolished.
A packed Hackney Council chamber heard the discussion of the controversial application to build the 350-bedroom hotel on the site currently occupied by The Foundry in Great Eastern Street and Rivington Street.
Oliver Bulleid, from the South Shorediteh Conservation Area action committee, told the meeting he was concerned about the scale of the scheme.
"This is a key site that could be here for 100 years or so and we need to make the right decision," he said.
The public gallery was packed with supporters of the venue, which features dis pl ays by graffiti artists including Banksy. The Foundry had run an online campaign for it to be saved on social networking site Facebook.
Artist Pete Jones, who has exhibited at The Foundry, asked the planning sub-committee to help the venue find a new home. "It's so insulting having this ugly thing dumped in the centre," he said.
Boris Ivesha, the chief executive of the Park Plaza hotel company, which submitted the plan, told the committee: "Art'otel is our flagship brand. The art itself is part of the attraction." He expressed hope that building work could get under way within the year.
However, part of the fabric of The Foundry will remain once the bulldozers move in.
Banksy, whose works grace the walls of homes owned by Hollywood stars including Angelina Jolie, has painted a larger-than-life trademark urban rat on the outside of the venue, along with an image of a TV being thrown out of a window.
A spokeswoman for the developers said: "The retention of the Banksy pieces is a condition of the planning consent. They are to be retained within the borough in a location to be approved by Hackney Council. "We hope to incorporate works on the site, within building, but this is still to be confirmed with Hackney".