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Fears that development plans for Queen Elizabeth Hospital will overshadow Haggerston park

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 May 2013

The former Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospital

The former Queen Elizabeth Children's Hospital

Archant

Councillors overwhelming rejected development plans for the former Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children on the borders of Hackney.

Developers have proposed to knock down the entire building - except the two main facades - in order to build two six storey residential blocks which will accommodate 188 flats.

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

They also have plans to build a commercial unit and a basement car park with 30 parking spaces.

The former hospital - which is bordered by Hackney Road, Goldsmith Row and Pritchard’s Road - overlooks a conservation area which features Haggerston Park and Hackney City Farm.

Planning officers expressed concerns that the rooftop pavillions were too high and would be visible above mature trees in Haggerston Park and could block sunlight at the park and farm.

During the meeting, planning officer Rob Broom said: “What we don’t know is what ecological impact it will have on Haggerston Park. It will have less sunlight.” The committee recommended that an ecological assessment to be carried out.

They also expressed concern about the demolition of the building and impact of the construction work.

The Hackney Society, a preservation organisation, expressed a desire to see the imposing heritage building reused rather than demolished.

The society’s planning officer David Shaw said: “We need to be more mindful. This building has a social and economic impact on the area.”

Trustee Nick Perry added: “We should push for a higher quality of design.”

The planning application will come become before a planning committee at Tower Hamlets on July 18.

The hospital first opened in 1868 and merged with renowned Great Ormond Street hospital in Bloomsbury in 1967. Great Ormond Street managed it until 1994 when it was taken over by the Royal London Hospital.

It was closed in 1997 and the disused site comes under the jurisdiction of Tower Hamlets with regards to planning applications.

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