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Advertiser letters: The London Chest Hospital and 5G rollout

PUBLISHED: 08:30 01 September 2019

The Grade II listed London Chest Hospital. Picture: CARMEN VALINO

The Grade II listed London Chest Hospital. Picture: CARMEN VALINO

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Demolished not 'restored'

Tom Ridge, Welwyn Street, Bethnal Green, writes:

The article in the Advertiser about the former London Chest Hospital included a claim, on behalf of the developer Crest Nicholson, that they will be restoring a listed building.

In fact, they are demolishing almost half of the Grade II-listed hospital building. The listed south wing of 1865 is to be completely demolished; and the re-slated original roof of the listed main building of 1855 is to be demolished and replaced with a new roof, instead of being adapted for residential use.

The new roof will have false chimney stacks and new dormer windows, which will not be lined up with the windows in the façade of the listed main building.

As the main building is also being extended at the back, the new roof will also be double the width of the original roof.

The former London Chest Hospital is not "derelict", it is the most important listed public building in one the borough's most important conservation areas, the Victorian Park Conservation Area.

The hospital became famous for the excellence of its heart surgery and was only sold so that St Bartholomew's Hospital could have a new heart hospital.

As well as losing our specialist hospital in Bethnal Green, the few surviving parts of the listed building are going to be seriously harmed by the back extension and the new double-width roof.

This damage to the borough's built heritage is what the developers are pleased to call 'restoration'.

And it is supported by Historic England!

But all parts of the building listed by Historic England are sufficiently significant to be properly 'conserved', especially as they are also in a conservation area.

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To add insult to injury, the 'restored' building will be overwhelmed on three sides by massive blocks of flats.

27 mature trees are to be cut down, and the iconic veteran black mulberry tree is to be dug up and moved to its certain death.

Crest Nicholson took cuttings from the mulberry tree so that it could be replaced by saplings should it die in its new position.

They were not taken to give to 'schools and communities'.

5G rollout consultation

Mark Taylor, campaign manager, SayNoTo5G, writes:

The UK government is holding an under-publicised consultation on the Electronic Communications Code (EECC).

This is on the conditions for a more rapid adoption of 5G mobile communications technology, the first wave of which was launched recently.

The advice MPs have received is that the technology is safe for mass use, but this is yet to be proven. The guidance only covers limited heating effects.

A planned wave of 5G will use very high frequency pulsed radiation (MMW).

Safeguards on other ionising radiation suggest that this should not be trialled in public places such as near schools or via antennae on lamp posts outside our homes.

Over 200 scientists have called for a halt on expansion until it can be proved safe.

For more on the consultation, visit saynoto5g.uk/eecc. You can respond until September 10 via EECC@culture.gov.uk

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