Boris Johnson backs Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital development
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 October 2013
Boris Johnson has given the green light to controversial plans to turn the former Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital into flats.
The Mayor of London backed the decision of Tower Hamlets Council’s planning committee to grant permission to developers, who want to demolish the historic building to make way for 188 new flats.
The plans were branded a “monstrosity” by actor Emun Elliott, who lives nearby and is the star of BBC costume drama The Paradise.
He was one of nearly 3,000 people who signed an online petition opposing the development of the site, in Hackney Road on the borough boundary, and calling on Mr Johnson to block the application.
But after giving the £30million scheme the go-ahead last week, he said: “There is no greater priority than tackling the housing crisis and it is imperative that long standing empty sites are put back into use to meet the capitals housing needs.
“This new development will deliver the good quality homes Tower Hamlets urgently requires to ease local demand.”
The hospital first opened in 1868, closing more than 125 years later in 1997. In a concession to those opposing the plans, the building’s front façade will remain in tact.
Developers Rydon and housing association Family Mosaic insist 72 of the flats will be affordable homes, and the work will benefit the area.
But signatories to the online petition slammed the plans.
One, Adam English, wrote: “Mayor Johnson may not be aware but this hospital has a special place in local history, being the hospital where many of the victims of the Bethnal Green Tube disaster were taken.
“There has to be a better plan for Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital.”
Another, Jules French, said: “There is an opportunity to do something interesting and funky with this space that would actually benefit the community and London, don’t blow it on this box city that no one will be happy with.”