Residents First

Tower Hamlets People Network

SPECIAL FEBRUARY 2017 NEWSLETTER

FORMER LONDON CHEST HOSPITAL

CREST NICHOLSON PLANNING APPLICATION

AMENDED DRAWINGS

At the request of the GLA and Historic England, the applicant is preparing amended drawings to address the Council’s concerns.

Following submission of the amended drawings, the Council may decide to hold a 21 day consultation for local residents and others to comment. I understand that this possible consultation will not invalidate all the comments made so far.
The GLA and Historic England have postponed their comments until they have studied the amended drawings.

The Council has received about 147 letters/emails objecting to the planning application (including letters from the Victorian Society, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society and East End Preservation Society). A 38° petition objecting to the proposals has been signed by 679 people.

My two online petitions were emailed in on 23 January 2017 (first with 284 signatures, second with 125 signatures; and paper versions of the two petitions were taken in on the same day (first with 41 signatures and second with 34 signatures). Fortunately, the two petitions are still online (first now with 311 signatures and second with 144 signatures).

Both are in urgent need of more signatures (ideally both need to be signed by the same person)

  • Please sign both asap and encourage others to sign
  • If you have signed the first petition, please consider signing the second petition.

You may be encouraged to sign both petitions after you read my attached long letter of objection. It is written in a repetitive, quasi-legal style to:

  • Support the two petitions (in the hope that the officer’s report would include more information than just the number of signatures)
  • Provide more information and explain the several points being made in both petitions
  • Explain that in 1991, English Heritage rejected a listing application from LBTH and did so by making unfavourable comparisons with the Brompton Hospital in West London (listed Grade II 1994)
  • Suggest that, although the former London Chest Hospital was listed Grade II in 2016 by Historic England, there are those who probably agree with the 1991 decision not to list: including the applicant’s two heritage consultants (former EH/HE Inspectors) who wrote the report in support of the (failed) request for a Certificate of Immunity from Listing and (almost immediately after the April 2016 listing) received pre-application advice from a Principal Inspector that it would be possible to make substantial changes to the listed hospital building and its setting
  • Expose the outrageous claims made in the applicant’s Heritage Statement (written by one of the two heritage consultants); and explain the superiority of the London Chest Hospital’s system of warming and ventilating for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, in comparison with the three systems at the Brompton Hospital
  • Reveal the extent to which the Principal Inspector’s pre-application advice has been ignored by the heritage consultants and the applicant
  • Explain the relevance of the Victoria Park Conservation Area and the fact that the (now listed) former chest hospital is not only the principal named building in the conservation area but is also in the setting of the Grade II*-registered park.
  • Indicate how the relevant paragraphs in the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) apply to each threat to the listed building and its setting; and in conjunction with NPPF para. 133 refer to Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) para. 17, which is about the demolition of key elements causing substantial harm to a listed building
  • Indicate how the Planning Act 1990 (not mentioned in the two
    petitions) applies to each threat to the listed building and the conservation area

Please therefore sign both petitions to stop fake heritage and make sure that the listed 1855 main hospital building is properly repaired and adapted for residential use as a worthy and honest memorial to the specialist hospital which served the people of North and East London for 160 years.

Tom Ridge

Before & after animation

February 26th, 2017

Posted In: Chest Hospital

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Proposed residential blocks

We, the undersigned, object to PA/16/03342 and 03343 because the three proposed residential blocks would dominate rather than defer to the Grade II-listed 1855 main building, and their height, scale and bulk would also fail to preserve the northern and southern elements of the parkland setting, which makes a positive contribution to the significance of the listed 1855 building and this part of the Victoria Park Conservation Area. This part includes the Park View Estate and the Grade II*-registered Victoria Park, which has group value with the Grade II-listed 1855 main building (List Entry Description No. 1433870).

The parkland setting of the Park View Estate links the parkland setting of the former London Chest Hospital with the parkland of Victoria Park (via the narrow open space of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area) so that parkland pervades this extensive part of the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

The three proposed residential blocks would also create a massive barrier along the west side of St James’s Avenue which would sever the important parkland link between the hospital site and the Park View Estate and the registered park (on the north side of the canal). The massive barrier would also dominate and have a detrimental impact on the lower set-back buildings on the east side of St James’s Avenue: including the Grade II-listed Church of St James the Less, which has group value with the Grade II-listed 1855 main building (List Entry Description No. 1433870). The massive barrier would also destroy the balanced streetscape created by all the east side buildings and the existing low former hospital buildings on the west side of St James’s Avenue.

The harm caused by the proposed three residential blocks to the settings of the listed hospital building, listed church and listed vicarage and to this extensive part of the Victoria Park Conservation Area would not be outweighed by the proposed public and heritage benefits which are being provided solely to outweigh the “less than substantial harm caused by the demolition of the Grade II-listed South Wing”.

Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee should therefore please refuse consent (under NPPF paras. 132 and 137) or defer its decision to allow the applicant to revise the application to create smaller and lower residential blocks which defer to the Grade II-listed 1855 main building, better preserve its parkland setting and maintain the parkland link with the Park View Estate and the Grade II*-registered Victoria Park (via the intervening section of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area).

Please sign this petition and the (first) London Chest Hospital petition, which is about the alterations to the listed building.

Total number people signed is 193 so far

CHEST HOSPITAL SECOND ONLINE PETITION

Dear LBTH Planning

We, the undersigned, object to PA/16/03342 and 03343 because the three proposed residential blocks would dominate rather than defer to the Grade II-listed 1855 main building, and their height, scale and bulk would also fail to preserve the northern and southern elements of the parkland setting, which makes a positive contribution to the significance of the listed 1855 building and this part of the Victoria Park Conservation Area. This includes the Park View Estate and the Grade II*-registered Victoria Park, which has group value with the Grade II-listed 1855 main building (List Entry Description No. 1433870).

The parkland setting of the Park View Estate links the parkland setting of the former London Chest Hospital with the parkland of Victoria Park (via the narrow open space of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area) so that parkland pervades this extensive part of the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

The three proposed residential blocks would also create a massive barrier along the west side of St James’s Avenue which would sever the important parkland link between the hospital site and the Park View Estate and the registered park (on the north side of the canal). The barrier would also dominate and have a detrimental impact on the lower set-back buildings on the east side of St James’s Avenue: including the Grade II-listed Church of St James the Less, which has group value with the Grade II-listed 1855 main building (List Entry Description No. 1433870). The barrier would also destroy the balanced streetscape created by all the east side buildings and the existing low former hospital buildings on the west side of St James’s Avenue.

The harm caused by the proposed three residential blocks to the settings of the listed hospital building, listed church and listed vicarage and to this extensive part of the Victoria Park Conservation Area would not be outweighed by the proposed public and heritage benefits which are being provided solely to outweigh the “less than substantial harm caused by the demolition of the Grade II-listed South Wing”.

Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee should therefore please refuse consent (under NPPF paras. 132 and 137) or defer its decision to allow the applicant to revise the application to create smaller and lower residential blocks which defer to the Grade II-listed 1855 main building, better preserve its parkland setting and maintain the parkland link with the Park View Estate and the Grade II*-registered Victoria Park (via the intervening section of the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area).

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Total number people signed in and near Tower Hamlets = 94 so far

January 11th, 2017

Posted In: Conservation, Petition

4 Comments

East End Waterway Group

Special December 2016 Newsletter from Tom Ridge

HELP STOP THE DEMOLITION AND REPLACEMENT OF THE 1855 MAIN BUILDING’S ROOF AND VENTILATION TOWER AT THE FORMER LONDON CHEST HOSPITAL (LISTED GRADE II APRIL 2016)

Compare the existing and proposed front elevations of the main building from Crest Nicholson’s planning application to Tower Hamlets Council (consultation period ends 23 January 2017).




Look at elevations when reading the online petition and background notes.

Please sign the Online petition to Tower Hamlets Council and encourage others to sign ASAP.

ONLINE PETITION

We the undersigned object to PA/16/03342 and PA/16/03343 for the following reasons:

The demolition of the repaired original 17th century country house-style roof (with gentle slopes and several flat tops), and the demolition of the original albeit shortened ventilation tower would result in the unacceptable loss of two external key elements of the 1855 main building, which is the most important part of the Grade II-listed former hospital building.

The supersized new roof is only needed to provide about 12 more flats and with its steep slopes containing two tiers of dormer windows and one long flattish top it would be a grand city-type roof in conflicted juxtaposition with the 17th century country house-style façade; the new higher ventilation tower is only needed so that it can be seen above the taller new roof and, with its three added conjectural features, would also be taller than the existing ventilation tower.

The fake heritage roof and fake heritage ventilation tower would be fundamentally dishonest and totally misleading; and would also be seriously detrimental to the significance of the 17th century country house style façade (the 1855 main buildings; third and only surviving key element) and its positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

The demolitions and replacements would cause substantial harm to the Grade 2 listed 1855 main building (and its Grade 2 listed 1892 sanitation tower) and harm the Victoria Park Conservation Area; and the substantial harm would not be outweighed by the proposed public and heritage benefits, which are being provided solely to outweigh the “less than substantial harm” caused by the demolition of the Grade 2 listed south wing.

Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee should therefore please refuse consent (under NPPF Para 133) or defer its decision to allow the applicant to revise the application to include the retention and proper repair of the repaired original roof and the surviving lower part of the original ventilation tower and its 1934 dome.

Background Notes

depth-of-new-roof-compared-with-old

Existing frontage in blue - wider proposed in black

Roof

The structural engineer’s report states that the roof is “in sound condition”; and, although there have been repairs and replacements “over the life of the building”, it only needs localised repair. The new supersized roof (over the narrow 1855 main building and proposed back addition) is, therefore, only needed to provide a total of 18 flats on two attic floors. Whereas the repaired original roof with localize repairs could provide six flats on one attic floor.

The missing paragraph

Clearly, the Heritage Statement’s claims that “the roof suffered bomb damage and has been largely renovated…” (3.22) and the roof “retains very little of its original fabric” (5.13) are both gross exaggerations. Furthermore, the fact that some of its timbers are not original does not diminish its significance but illustrates its history as a WW2-damaged roof, which was sufficiently substantial for most of its timber roof trusses to survive.

Links below will take you to the petitions

Background Notes (continued)

The roof is not fully described in the list entry description (no.1433870) but this does not mean that it is the least significant part of the Grade 2 listed 1855 main building. The first reason for designation (listing) in the LED is “architectural interest: built to a dignified design in late C17 style”; and as the shallow roof with gentle slopes and a flat top is a characteristic feature of the 17th century country house style, the repaired original roof is a key element and very significant part of the Grade 2 listed 1855 main building.

In the applicant’s design and access statement section 05 it is claimed that the replacement roof “will not harm the listed building, and will enhance its appearance as a composition”. No real evidence is provided in support of the replacement roof’s design, nor the extent to which it “relates to the overall architectural composition”: as required by Historic England in its letter of 5th May 2016 (Heritage Statement pages 70-74). This letter also referred to a replacement roof in “the same style” as the existing roof and the need for a “taller, more steeply pitched roof to complement the architecture of the building”. Clearly, the applicant’s proposed replacement roof is not in the same style as the existing roof and would not complement the architecture of the building.

Ventilation Tower

The ventilation tower is also a key element because it is the largest and the most visible surviving part of the Chest Hospital’s very sophisticated warming and ventilating system. This was designed to create the warm, dry microclimate thought necessary at the time for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.

The London Chest Hospital and the Brompton Hospital in west London were the only two specialist chest hospitals in England with warming and ventilation systems designed to create a warm, dry microclimate. The first part of the Brompton was built in the 1840s but its first and second warming and ventilation systems were very unsatisfactory, and the second system was replaced by a more satisfactory system in 1876. The unique and highly satisfactory system at the London Chest Hospital remained in use from 1855 to 1918 when hot water radiators were installed.

The structural engineer’s report states that although the ventilation tower has got cracks in the brickwork, it is “not currently in a structurally unstable state”. The cracks could and should be repaired by specialists and the structure reinforced with an inserted steel frame. Retention and repair would be in line with Historic England’s reference to remnants of the original ventilating system illustrating the hospital’s “former role in treating consumption in mid-Victorian London” (letter, 5th May 2016 Heritage Statement pages 70-74).

Furthermore, this letter does not encourage the “reintroduction of the original tower”, as stated on page 32 in the Planning Statement. It encourages “the reinstatement of the missing parts of the central tower above the principal range”. According to the applicant’s design and access statement (section 05), Historic England has agreed to the “reinstatement of the original spire”. As the spire was one of three features removed from the upper part of the original ventilation tower in 1934, it can be assumed that all three are to be reinstated, as also implied by the Heritage benefit “restoration and enhancement of… original ventilation tower” (page 33 Planning Statement). However, an annotation to a fabric removal drawing clearly states “Tower to be removed and replaced with a tower design to match the original tower spire design”. This is backed up by a statement in section 05 of the design and access statement indicating that the new ventilation tower would be “formed on a steel frame with new and reused masonry where appropriate”.

An attempt to justify the demolition of the surviving lower part of the original ventilation tower (and the dome added in 1934) is made at 3.22 in the Heritage Statement, which refers to the “loss of the original ventilation tower”. Clearly, the lower part of the original tower survives and, as part of the history of the Grade 2 listed Hospital building, it is still a key element of special architectural and historic interest. The proposed replica of the original ventilation tower, at a high level, would be a fake and highly visible part of the Chest Hospital’s unique warming and ventilation system; and would not be a genuine illustration of the Hospital’s “former role in treating consumption in mid-Victorian London”. (Historic England letter 5th May 2016; Heritage Statement pages 70-74.)

sanitation_tower

Sanitation Tower

Sanitation Tower

In the developer’s June 2016 public exhibition and website, various demolitions and alterations to the 1892 sanitation tower were presented as “heritage enhancements” supported by Historic England. In fact, Historic England’s 5th May 2016 letter comments on the aesthetic value of the “octagonal north tower”. Fortunately, Crest Nicholson’s planning application indicates that the 1892 sanitation tower will remain more or less intact, and still attached to the northern end of the 1855 main building. It will be “enhanced for residential accommodation and small roof terrace”. The small single-storey, post-mortem room (next to the east of back side of the tower and referred to incorrectly as the chapel) “may house a small amenity space”.

Financial viability

The Financial Viability Assessment (redacted version) concludes that it “is not viable to provide a policy compliant amount of onsite affordable housing, nor is it viable to retain the south wing”. The assessment also states that the 20.1% affordable housing (by habitable room) and the planning obligation pack of £1,501,136 are at the “maximum reasonable level in order to achieve a potentially viable scheme”.

The affordable housing and some or all of the items making up the planning oblicaton pack are in the list of public and heritage benefits which “greatly outweigh the less than substantial harm resulting from the loss of the south wing” (section 6.53 Planning Statement). National Planning Policy Framework paras. 131 and 134 allow developers to argue that only so much of a nationally- listed building can be converted for the development scheme to be financially viable ie “a potentially viable scheme”. This usually means that all their costs have to be met and that there is sufficient profit for them to remain in business during down-turns in the building industry. In the case of the 1855 main building, the proposed five-storey back addition to the narrow three-story main building more than doubles the number of flats; the sale of which would probably meet all the developer’s costs and provide “sufficient profit”. But most if not all of the 18 flats in the new supersized roof would probably be for pure profit.

Bulk of whole scheme

Bulk of whole scheme with only the blue frontage retained from the original

The FVA fails to explain that it is not viable to provide six flats in the repaired original roof. Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee, therefore, has a clear duty to refuse consent for the demolition and replacement of the existing roof and the associated demolition and replacement of the existing ventilation tower, both of which make positive contributions to the significance of the Grade 2-listed 1855 main building and the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

A Worthy Memorial

The former London Chest Hospital has been the centerpiece of the Crown’s Victoria Park Estate; and since the 1970’s, it has been the principal named building in the Victoria Park Conservation Area. The now doubly-protected building is to lose its very substantial south wing and it should at least have all its remaining parts properly repaired and adapted as a worthy memorial to the specialist hospital which served the people of North and East London for 160 years. All of the former Brompton Hospital, West London’s Grade II-listed specialist chest hospital, was converted to residential use without its roofs and towers being rebuilt. East London’s Grade II-listed specialist chest hospital, which was the only other hospital of this type built in England, should at least have its main 1855 building converted to residential use without its roof and tower being rebuilt.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

I hope to write my letter of objection in early January and arrange for it to be published in the next East End Waterway Group newsletter. In the meantime, please view the planning applications on the Tower Hamlets Council website http://development.towerhamlets.gov.uk

See especially section 05 in the Design and Access Statement; pages 31-42 in the Planning Statement; pages 44-56 and 70-74 in the Heritage Statement; Drawing no. 15047 PL 1350 existing main building elevation west; and Drawing no. 15047 PL 3350, proposed main building elevation, west).

As many people as possible must please sign the online petitions, but there also need to be as many formal written objections as possible from groups and individuals.

Email development.control@towerhamlets.gov.uk quoting application numbers PA/16/13342 and PA/16/03343 and include your postal address.

This newsletter is therefore being sent to the Victorian Society and all the other relevant amenity societies.

Local tenants’ and residents’ associations must also please send formal written objections (with copies to your councilors). In writing these I hope you will find the online petition and and background notes useful, but you also need to study the planning applications on the Council website.

PLEASE DO YOUR BEST TO SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: THE COUNCIL WILL ACCEPT COMMENTS ETC AFTER THE DEADLINE OF 23 JANUARY 2017 BUT A MASSIVE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE WILL INTEREST THE MEDIA AND GENERATE MORE SIGNINGS AND FORMAL WRITTEN OBJECTIONS.

Tom Ridge

December 2016


December 27th, 2016

Posted In: Conservation

One Comment

(1st petition)

The demolition of the repaired original 17th century country house-style roof (with gentle slopes and several flat tops), and the demolition of the original albeit shortened ventilation tower would result in the unacceptable loss of two external key elements of the 1855 main building, which is the most important part of the Grade II-listed former hospital building.

The supersized new roof is only needed to provide about 12 more flats and with its steep slopes containing two tiers of dormer windows and one long flattish top it would be a grand city-type roof in conflicted juxtaposition with the 17th century country house-style façade; the new higher ventilation tower is only needed so that it can be seen above the taller new roof and, with its three added conjectural features, would also be taller than the existing ventilation tower.

The fake heritage roof and fake heritage ventilation tower would be fundamentally dishonest and totally misleading; and would also be seriously detrimental to the significance of the 17th century country house style façade (the 1855 main buildings; third and only surviving key element) and its positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

The demolitions and replacements would cause substantial harm to the Grade 2 listed 1855 main building (and its Grade 2 listed 1892 sanitation tower) and harm the Victoria Park Conservation Area; and the substantial harm would not be outweighed by the proposed public and heritage benefits, which are being provided solely to outweigh the “less than substantial harm” caused by the demolition of the Grade 2 listed south wing.

Tower Hamlets Strategic Development Committee should therefore please refuse consent (under NPPF Para 133) or defer its decision to allow the applicant to revise the application to include the retention and proper repair of the repaired original roof and the surviving lower part of the original ventilation tower and its 1934 dome.

Total number people signed is 348 so far

FORMER LONDON CHEST HOSPITAL PETITION

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Total number people signed in and near Tower Hamlets = 191 so far

December 25th, 2016

Posted In: Petition

14 Comments

EAST END WATERWAY GROUP

LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THREE HISTORIC GASHOLDERS ON THE WATERWAYS IN TOWER HAMLETS

Bethnal Green

Bethnal Green

Regular readers will know that EEGW has tried and failed to save the No.1 gasholder in Poplar, on the River Lea, and the No.2 gasholders at Bethnal Green, on the Regent’s Canal.

Like all nationally-unlisted gasholders in London they are to be demolished by National Grid; and Tower Hamlets Council (in its emerging Local Plan to 2031) still plans to have open spaces on the cleared sites at Bethnal Green (site allocation 22) and possibly at Poplar (site allocation 20).



As a first step, we have written to the Borough Conservation Officer asking him and his colleagues to save the three gasholders.  We hope that the little No.1 at Poplar will be retained in its entirety in the proposed open space, but at Bethnal Green we envisage the retention of the two gasholder guide frames (on their brick or concrete foundation) only, with the smaller No. 2 guide frame enclosing a playground for young children, and the larger No. 5 guide frame enclosing a multi-pitch.

Attached to our letters are a report about the gasholder at Poplar and a report about the gasholders at Bethnal Green.

The first report explains that the lattice guide frame at Poplar is of particularly strong local interest and that it is the oldest surviving example of its type in England; and that its lower tier of tapering box-lattice girders are the first and only surviving examples of their type in England.

However, the first report failed to mention that the box-lattice principle established at Poplar was subsequently used in box-lattice girders and standards in later lattice guide frames, such as the No.5 at Bethnal Green.

The second report explains that although the column guide frame at Bethnal Green has lost its classical details, it is the most beautiful of all the nationally-listed columnar types in London; also that the columnar guide frame and the lattice guide frame are the only surviving adjacent gasholder guide frames in London which represent the two main types of 19th century gasholder guide frame in London.

However, the second report failed to mention that the lattice guide frame is also a particularly beautiful example of its type; and that the beauty of both complementary gasholder guide frames is enhanced by their reflections in the waters of the Regent’s Canal (both points made in letter to Borough Conservation Officer).

Poplar No1 holder

To help the Borough Conservation Officer and his colleagues save the three historic gasholders, please sign the online petition by 1st January 2017 (for submission on the 2nd January consultation deadline for the emerging Local Plan).

WE THE UNDERSIGNED ASK TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL TO ADD THREE HISTORIC GASHOLDERS TO THE LOCAL LIST (NO 1 AT POPLAR, NO 2 AND NO 5 AT BETHNAL GREEN); AND ALTER SITE ALLOCATIONS 20 AND 22 IN THE EMERGING LOCAL PLAN TO ENSURE THEIR RETENTION AND INCORPORATION WITHIN PROPOSED OPEN SPACES

Tom Ridge

December 18th, 2016

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Gasholders

2 Comments

Unfortunately our previous petitions for the Bethnal Green Holder Station (1,494 signatures) and Poplar Holder Station (400 signatures) will not be considered for the emerging local plan - so please consider signing this new petition.
 

LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THREE HISTORIC GASHOLDERS ON THE WATERWAYS IN TOWER HAMLETS

WE THE UNDERSIGNED ASK TOWER HAMLETS COUNCIL TO ADD THREE HISTORIC GASHOLDERS TO THE LOCAL LIST (NO 1 AT POPLAR, NO 2 AND NO 5 AT BETHNAL GREEN); AND ALTER SITE ALLOCATIONS 20 AND 22 IN THE EMERGING LOCAL PLAN TO ENSURE THEIR RETENTION AND INCORPORATION WITHIN PROPOSED OPEN SPACES


petition-graphic


December 18th, 2016

Posted In: East End Waterway Group, Gasholders

19 Comments

AT THE FORMER LONDON CHEST HOSPITAL

Since the Special October Newsletter, a November Supplement has been published, followed by a Post-Script to the November Supplement.

All three have either been e-mailed to you via the East End Waterway Group OR may be viewed on www.residents-first.co.uk. Please read all three and send your email to the four addresses listed below, as soon as possible, as the developers have submitted their planning application to Tower Hamlets and it is likely to be validated shortly.

This is our last chance to persuade the developers, Historic England and Tower Hamlets to

  • address the six bullet points in the November Supplement – before the consultation period starts and all we can do is object
  • give serious consideration to requests for 35% “affordable” housing and other substantial public benefits which you think necessary to outweigh the loss of the south wing of 1865 (at right angles to the south end of the main building of 1855 and facing the eastern end of Bonner Road.

Tom Ridge

7 Shepton Houses

070 89817361

Four email addresses (copy & paste):
owen.whalley@towerhamlets.gov.uk
chairman@historicengland.org.uk
info@londonchesthospital.co.uk
east.end.waterway.group@gmail.com

December 1st, 2016

Posted In: Conservation

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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.

Tom Ridge

stop-the-blocks-map1

 

December 1st, 2016

Posted In: Conservation

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EAST END WATERWAY GROUP

SPECIAL NOVEMBER 2016 SUPPLEMENT TO OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

This supplement provides further information for those who have already sent their email (for which many thanks) and for those who have still to write – please do so as soon as possible.

Please note that this is not an East End Waterway Group campaign. I am using the newsletter service to make as many people as possible aware of the proposed development in the Victoria Park Conservation Area (LBTH). And hope that organisations and individuals will want to persuade the developers to change their proposals before submitting them to Tower Hamlets Council; and persuade Historic England to reconsider its support for demolitions and extensive alterations to the recently listed former London Chest Hospital (Grade II).

Historic England has issued a statement in response to the Special October Newsletter, which does not comment on the accusation that it is now pursuing a ‘protect and destroy’ policy, and only says that the developer will have to justify the proposed demolition of the south wing (1863-5). Also that Historic England “will be providing … formal comments on the scheme“ when the planning application goes out to consultation.

Presumably those comments will be made by the same inspector who has supported the developers’ proposed demolition of the south wing; and the so-called “heritage enhancements” to the main building (1851-5) and sanitary tower (1890-2) which would cause substantial harm to their significance as the surviving parts of a designated heritage asset in a conservation area. Hence the need to email now and help publicise the protection and destruction of the former London Chest Hospital. Please bear in mind that when it gets to the consultation stage, objectors will not have an opportunity to comment on Historic England’s formal comments.

MAIN OR ORIGINAL BUILDING

Although the roof is not described in detail in the List Entry Description (no. 1433870) it consists of five hipped cut roofs and the hipped cut roof is a characteristic feature of the late-17th century country house style referred to in the List Entry Description (Here and Here)..

Drawing No. 1 shows a cross-section of the narrow three-storey main building through one of its five hipped cut roofs and the proposed back addition (shown on the developers’ page 4 plan but not described or explained).

02nov16finalw580
Drawing No. 1

The proposed demolition of the existing roof would cause substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset (listed building) and the three-storey main building in particular.

The existing roof’s proposed replacement by a taller and wider roof with only one long flat leaded roof would also cause further substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset by creating fake heritage. And this would be further compounded by the fake heritage of a “reinstated original spire” on the central or ventilation tower.

  • The existing hipped cut roofs should be retained and repaired, with reinforcement (such as insertion of steel tie rods between the feet of principal rafters) where necessary, the existing dormers should also be retained and repaired
  • The proposed back addition should have an honest flat roof
  • The existing central or ventilation tower should be retained and repaired

ORIGINAL SANITATION OR SANITARY TOWER

This was described incorrectly as a three-storey tower in the Special October Newsletter. In fact, it is a four-storey tower; and as shown on Drawing No. 2 the attic or third storey is to be converted to a gazebo.

The tower, together with the link building and single-storey post-mortem room (not “mortuary”) is fully described in the List Entry Description here .

The proposed partial demolition of the rectangular ground storey and attic storey and the total demolition of the link building and post-mortem room are indicated in Drawing No. 2.

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Drawing No. 2

With the possible exception of the single-storey post-mortem room, the demolitions and subsequent alterations to the ground and attic storeys would cause substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset (listed building) and the four-storey tower and link building in particular.

NB the link building (not shown on Drawing No 2) contains short fenestrated corridors linking the three main floors and the attic in the main hospital building with the four floors in the tower: the three upper floors of which contained WC’s, washbasins, baths and slop sinks. The proposed demolition of the link building would disengage the sanitary tower from the hospital building

  • The tower and link building should be retained and repaired
  • The rectangular ground-storey should be converted to a flat; likewise, the first-, second- and third storeys, all accessed from the short corridors in the link building (the post-mortem room could be retained and adapted as an annexe to the ground-floor flat)
  • The proximal old mulberry tree should not be relocated.

With respect to the main building and tower, if you have still to send your email, please write along the lines set out in the Special October Newsletter, with references to the additional points made in this supplement – especially the five hipped cut roofs on the main building, link building and the sanitary tower’s attic storey.

OTHER ISSUES

Many local residents in Tower Hamlets and Hackney are rightly concerned about other issues:

As a consequence of its new policies on the Old Ford Estate, Circle Housing has been struck off Tower Hamlets’ list of preferred housing associations (in joint ventures with developers). This will probably not stop Circle Housing and Crest Nicholson from making their planning application but questions are being raised about Circle’s suitability as a registered social landlord in the proposed residential development of the former hospital.

The developers have yet to provide details about the provision of social or genuinely affordably housing and local residents are questioning whether or not the hospital development is yet another example of a housing association building homes to make money for the provision of social housing elsewhere.

The proposed demolition of the south wing constitutes substantial harm to the significance of the designated heritage assets(List Entry Description under History and Exterior). Should Tower Hamlets grant planning permission for the demolition of the south wing, it is to be hoped that, in line with National Planning Policy Framework para 33, the loss would be outweighed by substantial public benefits. As local residents are calling for the maximum provision of social housing in the hospital development, the substantial public benefits could include Mayor Khan’s 50% affordable housing.

Tenants and residents groups in the vicinity of the former hospital emailing the developers and Historic England (copies to Owen Whalley Tower Hamlets and Tom Ridge c/o East End Waterway Group – all email addresses in Special October Newsletter) about the need for the proper conservation of the surviving parts of the designated heritage asset may also wish to specify the substantial public benefits which they think are needed to outweigh the loss of the south wing. Also the other issues which they think need to be addressed.

This supplement (and the Special October Newsletter) may also be viewed on residents-first.co.uk, press East End Waterway Group button and select.

Tom Ridge


Map

MAP

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF – 1433870 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2016 at 01:43:07.

November 21st, 2016

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EEWG: SPECIAL OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

Bethnal Green London E2 9JX

In November 2015, the Victorian Society applied for the former hospital to be listed. The following month, Historic England received an application, on behalf of Circle Housing and Crest Nicholson, for a Certificate of Immunity from Listing. Both applications were considered by HE but the second application was paid for by the applicant under HE’s enhanced Advisory Services.

In March 2016, a consultation report was issued by Historic England and the following month the main building (1855), south wing (1865) and octagonal sanitation tower (1890–2) were listed Grade II. The former hospital is also a named building in the Victoria Park Conservation Area.

At the developer’s second public exhibition (in June 2016), local residents and others were informed that Historic England is now “supporting” the proposed loss of the listed south wing, together with proposed “heritage enhancements” as set out in full on page 4 of the June exhibition document on the developer’s website (see also page 3 for a view of the reinstated and enhanced sanitation tower).

chest_hospital_june

Circle Housing and Crest Nicholson hope to submit their planning application to Tower Hamlets Council towards the end of this year. By this stage it is usually too late for local residents and others to suggest any significant changes. As a local historian who responded in detail to the HE consultation, I am appalled by Historic England’s ‘protect and destroy’ approach to our built heritage.

Mindful of the fact that the redevelopment would deliver “up to 395 homes including affordable homes” I regret but accept the loss of the south wing. I also understand the new build alongside the corridors at the back of the narrow main building but regard the proposed “new roof and better dormers” as totally unacceptable.

Most of the several original roof structures survived WW2 damage and the “many generations of roof extensions” were probably internal alterations to increase the number of attic bedrooms for nurses. The integrity of this listed building requires the retention and repair of the existing roof and dormers. And the proposed back addition should have an honest flat roof not a long roof slope as part of the proposed new “double height” roof (which is double the existing width to maximise the number of one-bed attic room flats).

The rebuilding of the top part of the central tower in the 1930s is also part of the historic building’s history and it should not suffer the proposed “reinstatement of the original spire”, which would be an unnecessary and misleading replica.

The three-storey octagonal sanitation tower is to be altered out of all recognition. Its rectangular base, or ground storey sanitation towermade into a crude arcade and an octagonal gazebo built on top with a low octagonal roof to mimic the original octagonal roof (the structure of which survived WW2 damage but was subsequently removed). The three-storey tower was mainly added to provide additional and better ventilated WCs for the patients in the wards on the first and second floors of the original three-storey hospital building. Its so-called enhancements are designed solely to match the new buildings and create a link between the old building and the proposed new blocks of flats, as seen in the drawing on page of 3 the June exhibition document on the developer’s website. (see image on right)

English Heritage used to promote a conservation-led approach but it would appear from the “heritage enhancements” set out on page 4 of the document that Historic England favours the replacement rather than the repair of worn or damaged historic fabric, especially when it is considered necessary for an old building to look as new as the new buildings in a speculative residential development.

However, we must concentrate on trying to save the roof and the dormers and the two towers. It is not too late for the developers to change their plans before submission. Would residents and others please, therefore, email your concerns and requests as soon as possible to info@londonchesthospital.co.uk with copies to

Sir Laurie Magnus Chairman Historic England chairman@historicengland.org.uk

Owen Whalley Head of Planning and Building Control owen.whalley@towerhamlets.gov.uk

TomRidge c/o East End Waterway Group east.end.waterway.group@gmail.com

7 Shepton Houses, Welwyn Street, London E2 0JN

October 24th, 2016

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