POST-SCRIPT TO SPECIAL NOVEMBER SUPPLEMENT
FORMER LONDON CHEST HOSPITAL
1. The developers have recently submitted their planning application to Tower Hamlets. The proposed ten-storey block has been reduced to seven storeys, and the proposed seven-storey blocks are now between five and six storeys. Instead of 395 there are now 340 units. The developers are holding separate meeting with groups and individuals in the locality and further changes may be made during ongoing discussions with Tower Hamlets. The need for emails (on the lines set out in the Special October Newsletter, Special November Supplement, and modified according to this Post-Script (especially paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6)) is now greater than ever. Developers, Tower Hamlets and Historic England need to know that there are large numbers of individuals and groups in the locality and elsewhere in London who expect the two retained parts of the listed building to be respected in accordance with the following statement:
2. Protected historic building should be conserved and adapted for new uses. The maximum amount of historic fabric should be retained with the minimum amount of replacement or additional fabric – so that significance is preserved and former uses can still be appreciated. Furthermore, all necessary additions should be designed to sympathise with and not match the protected historic building.
3. The proposed back addition on the main building of 1855 is an unusually massive addition and should only be supported by Historic England and allowed by Tower Hamlets provided that it looks like an addition and has a flat roof to distinguish it from the existing roofs on the main building. These roofs are capable of repair and should not be demolished as they contribute to the significance of the 1855 building.
4. With respect to the adjoining of 1892 (and for the reasons set out in the above statement), Historic England should not support and Tower Hamlets should not allow the various demolitions and extensive alterations which would turn it into a detached ‘feature’ without significance and no sense of original purpose.
5. London’s only other and slightly earlier chest hospital: the Brompton Chest Hospital (Grade II) in West London has been conserved and adapted for residential use. We must ensure that the London Chest Hospital (Grade II) is also treated with the same respect so that the two retained parts of the listed building do not suffer substantial harm to their significance and integrity; and are a proper memorial to the specialist hospital which served the people of north and east London for 160 years.
6. With respect to the substantial provision of genuinely ‘affordable’ housing as a substantial public benefit to outweigh the loss of the south wing, I have been advised that 35% would be a more realistic target than the 50% mentioned in the Supplement.
7. The planning application could be validated in about a week’s time, followed at some time by a 21 day consultation period. As soon as I am able to see the planning application I will write my own letter of objection in the hope that others will follow suit. With the help of others I will also write a petition on heritage issues and a petition on other issues. I hope that the draft petitions will be discussed and agreed at a public meeting in the locality and that there will be paper and online versions.