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Founder’s Place development goes to planning appeal

The hospital charity behind the controversial Founder's Place development has confirmed that it intends to appeal against Lambeth Council's refusal of planning permission.

Canterbury House, Stangate and the Holy Trinity Ce
Canterbury House, Stangate and the Holy Trinity Centre seen from the London Eye

Lambeth councillors turned down the planning application by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity for its major mixed-use development at the northern end of Archbishop's Park just days before May's local elections.

The scheme includes key worker housing and a new Ronald McDonald House for families of patients at the Evelina Children's Hospital. More than 300 private flats would help to fund the development.

Speculation had been mounting that the Charity would launch an appeal, and this has now been confirmed.

"This represents a huge undertaking for the Charity, but reflects our conviction that the development will be of enormous benefit to Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust's patient and staff, as well as having a positive impact on the regeneration of the area," says Geoffrey Shepherd, chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.

"The Charity's decision to go to appeal has received unequivocal support from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and the Evelina Family Trust. The additional health facilities, key worker accommodation and day nursery for staff will enhance the health services provided to local people and also help to attract high quality staff. The relocation of the Ronald McDonald House to the development will be of great benefit to the parents of sick children being treated at the Evelina Children's Hospital.

"We have consulted widely with the local community, tenants, hospital staff, local businesses and community groups and their feedback has informed the plans which were submitted to the London Borough of Lambeth. The planned development will benefit the local community by providing affordable housing, homes for the tenants who wish to stay in the area, as well as enabling significant enhancements to the local environment, education and Archbishop's Park."

In September the architect Terry Farrell hit out at the planning regime in London and Lambeth, telling the Evening Standard that Founder's Place "had everything going for it, but still failed to gain planning permission".

The scheme has long been controversial amongst the Charity's tenants in the housing blocks it owns on the site – Canterbury House and Stangate – which would be demolished to make way for the Terry Farrell-designed development.

Kate Hoey MP has consistently opposed the Founder's Place proposals and has called for the Holy Trinity Centre – the former school currently occupied by Kagyu Samye Dzong – to be retained.

Earlier proposals sparked local anger due to their impact on the trees in Archbishop's Park. Later versions of the plans saw the frontage – but not the basement and foundations – of the proposed buildings moved further from the edge of the park to address these concerns.

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