While the majority of the meat market will remain operation, the developers have sought to breathe new life into the vacant buildings of the Fish and General Markets that were in the South-eastern corner of the Victorian trading complex.

Henderson is only the most recent firm to seek to build Clerkenwell office space on the site. The Australian investment group acquired the land and buildings from Thornfield Properties Plc when the firm went into administration.

When Henderson bought the site they chose to retain the services of John McAslan architects, who had worked on the project for Thornfield. Together they have submitted revised plans to the City of London Corporation that comprise a mix of restaurants and shops on the ground levels with a further six floors of prime office space above.

The contentious scheme is located at the heart of the City of London, close to the Barbican Centre and Holborn Viaduct.

Whereas property developers view the Market as one of the last great underdeveloped opportunities, local residents and heritage groups strongly feel that the proposed design does not sufficiently protect the character of the historic buildings.

While both sides await a final planning decision, the area is certain to benefit from the arrival of completion of the Crossrail in 2018.  The new service will offer direct trains to Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf from the nearby Farringdon station.