For over ten years the Ravenscourt Park Hospital site has sat empty. Two ago I was delighted by news that it was planned to reopen as a hospital. But the finances fell though and that scheme did not materialise. The building is left to deteriorate – and last year there was a problem with squatters.
Isn’t it time to allow some flexibility? The housing shortage is well known. Allowing a change of use would achieve this. I should think room for at least 100 new homes. It could, in all probability, include a requirement for “affordable housing” and still be financially viable. Instead residents are left with what is increasingly becoming a local eyesore.
I’ve asked the Council’s Team Leader Planning Applications if there could be a meeting with the owners of the site to consider how to make progress. He says:
“The planning permission granted for the refurbishment and extension of the hospital development has been implemented and as such the planning permission has not expired.
“Whilst I accept there is a pressing need to increase the Borough’s Housing Supply, the enhancement of community services is one of the Council’s key policies in the current development plan (Policy DM D1).
“Furthermore, in our emerging Development Plan, Policy CF1, seeks to ensure high quality healthcare and the retention and enhancement of existing healthcare facilities….and
“a) Assist in securing sites and buildings for future healthcare provision………
“Accordingly, in my view the proposal to agree a change in use of the site to residential would not be supported and would be contrary to existing and future policy with regard to healthcare facilities in the borough.
“I am sure that we could assist if the council were to request a meeting with the site owners/ representatives of the site owners.”
I will pursue…
There seems to have been a dramatic decrease in housing development under the current Labour administration. This scheme is going nowhere, the Town Hall scheme seems to have hit an impasse, the Flyunder which would include quite a bit of residential has been in the long grass for years and the Shepherds Bush market development is also logjammed.
I was under the impression that this was less of a planning issue and more to do with the trust that was set up under the Royal Masonic Hospital. In exchange for the building being transferred into public use, the original purpose as a medical building had to be maintained. The original article from the BBC regarding the hospital transfer sites a “medical use covenant”. I agree that more housing is needed, but covenants are often tricky to navigate.
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