Housing plans for future of former four-acre London Chest Hospital go public

Aerial view of four-acre former London Chest Hospital site at Bethnal Green

Aerial view of four-acre former London Chest Hospital site at Bethnal Green - Credit: Circle Housing

Plans to redevelop the controversial former London Chest Hospital site are going public in a two-day consultation from tomorrow. The four-acre east London site at Bethnal Green, next to Victoria Park, was sold for £47 million to Circle Old Ford housing association by the NHS, following the hospital closure after 160 years.

Sold for �47m... former London Chest Hospital

Sold for �47m... former London Chest Hospital - Credit: Archant

Campaigners supporting local historian Tom Ridge in his fight for the future of the former heart centre staged a public meeting next to the site in Approach Road only the day before the deal was revealed last August.

“The battle to save the hospital was lost in the 1990s when the Health Minister signed its death warrant,” Tom said at the time. “Yet the hospital still became a renowned ‘centre of excellence’ for cardiac treatment in 2006.

“Every brick was paid for by charitable donations for this distinctive and much-loved Victorian building.”

Barts Health NHS Trust sold it to Circle Housing for residential development after declaring the 19th century building no longer fit for specialist modern medical facilities.

Entrance to former London chest Hospital

Entrance to former London chest Hospital - Credit: Archant

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Cash from the sale has been put into state-of-the-art specialist cardiovascular medical treatment at the new Barts heart centre in the City, which treats 80,000 adults with heart disease each year.

The vacant site is now available for housing to help tackle Tower Hamlets’ waiting list of 22,000 families, Old Ford Housing points out.

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The public exhibition runs Thursday and Saturday at Bethnal Green Methodist Church in Approach Road, the first in a series of consultations over the coming months before the plans are lodged with Tower Hamlets Council. It is open from 3pm to 8pm tomorrow and 10am-2pm on Saturday.

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