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Founder’s Place planning appeal six weeks away

The public inquiry into the appeal by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity against the refusal of planning permission for the Founder's Place development will open at Lambeth Town Hall on Tuesday 17 April.

Founder's Place
Canterbury House, Stangate and the Holy Trinity Centre seen from the London Eye

Public notices have appeared around the site giving notice of the sitting of the inquiry at the Town Hall in Acre Lane, Brixton. The inquiry will open at 10am on Tuesday 17 April.

Guy's and St Thomas' Charity announced in November 2006 that it was appealing the refusal of planning permission in April 2006 for its development at the northern end of Archbishop's Park.

The scheme includes 641 residential units (some reserved for key workers) and a new Ronald McDonald House for families of patients at the Evelina Children's Hospital. The buildings – which would replace Canterbury House and Stangate in Royal Street and the Holy Trinity Centre adjoining Archbishop's Park – would range in height from 5 to 20 storeys.

Lambeth's planning committee rejected what they described as an "oppressive and overbearing development" that would "harm the setting of [Archbishop's] Park thereby failing to preserve the character and appearance of the Lambeth Palace Conservation Area".

Last year members of the Friends of Archbishop's Park voted in a postal consultation not to oppose the appeal by the charity.

Petition: scheme would have "adverse impact" on park

With the deadline for those who have already indicated that they intend to give evidence to the inquiry to submit their documents fast approaching, local resident Sarah O'Connell – a former chair of the Friends group – who has played a prominent role in efforts to protect the park has set up an Protect Lambeth Palace Conservation Area online petition for local residents concerned by the development to make their feelings known to the inspector.

The petition notes that: "We believe it is possible to develop proposals which would respect both the aims and the purpose of the Lambeth Palace Conservation Area and the boundaries of this historic park" and calls on the inspector to uphold the planning committee's decision.

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