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Protest to save east London’s historic Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 August 2013

Campaigners are mounting a delegation to the local planning authority to save east London’s historic former Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital from being bulldozed.

Developers want to demolish the Victorian buildings along Goldsmith’s Row, the oldest dating back to 1874, leaving just the Edwardian frontage in the Hackney Road.

The delegation is to hand in a petition with 150 names and 100 protest letters to Tower Hamlets council tomorrow (Thurs) when the planning application is being voted on.

“Refurbishment is being overlooked,” said campaigner Lucinda Rogers. “Nearly all the buildings are to be pulled down and replaced by very big, bland structures in a very standard housing development.”

The impact of the £30 million scheme has already been rejected by neighbouring Hackney Council, worried about its effect on Haggerston Park and the nearby Hackney City Farm. The site sits on the boundary of the two London boroughs.

The campaigners are urging Tower Hamlets to “stop the wholesale destruction” and make sure the buildings are refurbished instead.

Petition organiser Nick Pope said: “We should restore these buildings for business and community use as well as housing.”

Hackney Council is concerned about the heritage of the original hospital building and “would prefer to see a scheme that retained more of the original fabric” rather than just keeping the facade.

It fears the design of the rooftop pavilions planned is also “not in keeping” with the rest of the proposed development.

A deal was signed in May last year by the GLA, which owns the site, for developers to pull down the old children’s hospital which has been closed 10 years and build 180 new homes, including 127 private sale, 36 for social rent and 17 low-cost shared-ownership—but retaining its 1904 facia.

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