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LONDON-The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has approved Hammerson’s plans for the redevelopment of the Spitalfields market site off Bishopsgate to the east of the City of London. The planned Bishops Square development will consist of 750,000 sf of offices, 45,000 sf of retail and extensive public space and amenities designed by Foster and Partners which will house the new headquarters of international law firm, Allen & Overy.

It is anticipated that construction will begin early in 2003 following the demolition of the market’s 1928 Western annexe with completion expected in 2005. The existing Horner market buildings at the eastern end of the site will be retained and will continue to operate as a stall market.

Mike Bear, Chief Executive of Hammerson subsidiary the Spitalfields Development Group said the council’s decision was the culmination of a 15-year regeneration programme. “The scheme integrates with Spitalfields” existing architecture and, at the same time, will be the key to the regeneration of the area, bringing increased prosperity, more jobs and improving the retail offer,” he said.

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