Fate of iconic Hackney building to be decided at a council meeting tonight

Former Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospital

Former Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospital - Credit: Archant

Campaigners are urging residents to oppose plans to demolish a well-loved Hackney landmark on the borough’s border with Tower Hamlets.

The fate of Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital, bordered by Hackney Road, Goldsmith Row and Pritchard’s Road, will be decided at a council meeting today (Thursday).

Developers have proposed to knock down the entire building – except the two main facades – to build two six-storey residential blocks with 188 flats in all.

Rydon Construction and housing association Family Mosaic want to include another two to three storey pavilion on the roof which would take the height of the building to nine stories.

They also plan to build a commercial unit and a basement car park with 30 vehicle spaces.

The hospital, which dates from 1868, overlooks a conservation area featuring Haggerston Park and Hackney City Farm.

Campaigner and commercial interior designer Nick Pope, of Tudor Road, London Fields, said: “This is a landmark building which is part of the community. The main building from 1874 will be lost completely. The interior and exterior of the building has a lot of potential for conversion. There are a lot of architectural details which are still intact.

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“We feel that not enough people know about it. We stood outside the hospital with boards over two weekends and a lot of people came up to us. We got 100 objection letters and 150 people have signed a petition I set up a week ago.

“There are a lot of hospitals that have been converted in London over the years and they offer a lot of bright rooms for residential use. It’s a shame a building like this in a popular area which has a lot of visitors and is near a conservation area is at risk.”

A Family Mosaic spokesman said: “We are committed to addressing the shortage of affordable housing in London. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital site has remained empty and unused for over 15 years.

“We have worked closely with Tower Hamlets to ensure that our plans fit the needs of the local community. By retaining the hospital’s front façade and regenerating the area behind, our plans take into account the site’s architectural heritage whilst creating much-needed affordable housing.”

n To oppose the plans, sign the petition at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/tower-hamlets-council-retain-the-former-queen-elizabeth-hospital-buildings-on-goldsmiths-row. The planning meeting is at 7pm at Tower Hamlets Town Hall, Mulberry Place, E14.

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