Controversial plans to redevelop Smithfield Market could become a casualty of the credit crunch.

Five years in the making, the ambitious proposals to build a statement office building on the market’s site could finally be abandoned as Bank of Scotland Corporate, a backer of the project, undergoes retrenchment in its lending to commercial property.

Property experts believe that Thornfield, the developer behind the project, which is 50% owned by Bank of Scotland, part of the troubled HBOS group, will be loath to spend millions of pounds appealing against a Secretary of State decision to block the project, although the company is still saying that it will make revised proposals.

The Times