PRESS RELEASE: SAVE welcomes new City of London conservation area

12th January 2024

SAVE Britain’s Heritage welcomes the news that the City of London Corporation has officially designated a new heritage zone between Creechurch, Leadenhall and Aldgate in the east of the City, the 28th to be created in London’s famous Square Mile. 

Provisional approval had been given for the Creechurch Conservation Area at Planning Committee in December 2023, with the final decision upheld on 11th January 2024 by the Court of Common Council, the City of London's primary decision-making body.

SAVE submitted a detailed report supporting greater heritage protection in the area during a public consultation in November 2023. Located within the wards of Aldgate and Portsoken, the new conservation area is richly historic, comprising a variety of characterful historic buildings of various periods.  

At the heart of the conservation area are three outstanding places of worship: Bevis Marks Synagogue, St Katherine Cree Church and St Botolph’s Church (all listed grade I). The area was also once home to the Holy Trinity Priory, foremost amongst the medieval City’s monastic foundations.

City planners are now set to produce a formal Appraisal and Management Plan for the conservation area due for public consultation in Spring 2024. These documents are intended to set out clear guidance and policy rules to developers and buildings owners for shaping new development within the zone which is sympathetic to its existing character and heritage.

Our report was one of a number of statements of support submitted by architectural experts and heritage organisations. A total of 976 responses to the consultation were submitted to the City planners, who state in their report that such support reflects a welcome and unprecedented level of engagement with a proposed conservation area.

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “This new conservation area is great news for Londoners and the people who visit and work in the Square Mile.  These historic buildings and streets are a huge draw and fundamental to its rich character.  The new status not only offers protection to the existing buildings - but it's also a celebration and recognition of what's special, and should encourage sympathetic re-use proposals and well-designed new development that enhances and reveals the character of these streets.

Ben Dewfield-Oakley, senior conservation officer for SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “The City Corporation has rightly acted to safeguard this area’s unusual layers of architectural, educational and mercantile heritage. The eastern frontier of the City of London has a clear sense of character and place, but has been long overlooked. Conservation area status and policy guidance will help protect this character for future generations who live, work in and visit the City.”


The area boundary adopted by the City of London was originally put forward in 2023 by heritage experts Alec Forshaw and Esther Robinson Wild, urging the city planners to go further than in initially proposed by including a range of important historic buildings in and around the grade I listed Bevis Marks Synagogue.

Built in 1757, Bevis Marks Synagogue is one of most significant buildings in the area, and home to the Sephardic Jewish Community which first settled in Aldgate in the 18th century.  Despite being the oldest operating synagogue in Europe, the setting of the Synagogue had been recently threatened by a series of 40-50 storey building proposals on adjacent sites which would have overshadowed the courtyard it sits within.

SAVE’s response to the consultation had called for a further extension to the east and south of the adopted conservation area to include a number of unprotected historic buildings, including Aldgate Underground Station – with its remarkable Victorian train shed and much loved 1920s faience tiled frontage.

Other heritage organisations including The Twentieth Century Society, The Georgian Group, The Victorian Society and Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings also back the designation of the new Conservation Area.


Notes to Editors:

1. See our previous press release in November 2023 ahead of the decision to approve designation HERE

2. Read our full submission report and boundary proposal HERE

3. For more information contact Elizabeth Hopkirk at / 020 7253 3500

4. SAVE Britain’s Heritage is an independent voice in conservation that fights for threatened historic buildings and sustainable reuses. We stand apart from other organisations by bringing together architects, engineers, planners and investors to offer viable alternative proposals. Where necessary, and with expert advice, we take legal action to prevent major and needless losses.