Pickles reverses Springfield decision

springfield hospitalSecretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles has approved outline plans for the redevelopment of the Springfield University Hospital site in Wandsworth.

The plans brought forward by the NHS Trust include the demolition of listed buildings. They were refused by LB Wandsworth last year. They include building 25,000 sqm of replacement mental health facilities, 839 new homes – 262 of which would be in the converted Main Building and Elizabeth Newton Wing, 56 extra care residential apartments, a school, a care home, office, retail, and ancillary space.

springfield hospital schematicThe Communities Secretary concluded that the benefits of the improved health facilities, and the new homes outweighed the adverse effects.

Wamdsworth Councillors have expressed their disappointment at the decision. They had refused it because of its effect on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL) and because of the “unacceptable transport problems” they felt it would cause in the area.

Council Leader Ravi Govindia said: “Many in the local community are strongly in favour of providing better clinical facilities at Springfield and delivering a better service to patients. But this could have been achieved without a redevelopment on this scale and without creating the kinds of problems that we believe will now inevitably follow.

“In our view, the transport shortcomings of this scheme should have led to this appeal being dismissed. Unfortunately the inspector chose not to give these arguments the weight and importance we believe they merit.”

The council has consistently argued against what it sees as an overdevelopment of the Springfield site. In 2009 the planning committee turned down proposals for 1,200 residential units and 6,200 square metres of commercial and retail floorspace in a range of buildings up to eight storeys high. This would have included more than 3,000 square metres of restaurants, bars and takeaways and just under 1,200 car parking spaces.

This entry was posted in Wandsworth. Bookmark the permalink.