The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has criticised Premier Inn's plan to turn the former General Lying-In Hospital in York Road into a hotel and to build a 16-storey tower alongside it.
In April we reported that Whitbread had acquired the former hospital building – currently used as offices by Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust – and intended to open a Premier Inn budget hotel on the site.
The new owners commissioned Hamiltons architects to come up with a plan for the conversion of the grade II listed former maternity hospital and a new hotel building to replace the former nurses' accommodation block alongside.
The scheme is currently being considered by Lambeth Council and the Mayor of London has made his initial representations to the council. Mr Johnson has overruled his planning officers who welcomed the juxtaposition of the old and new buildings.
A letter from City Hall's head of planning decisions says: "The Mayor is concerned about the relationship between the proposed tower and the adjacent listed building. In particular he considers that the height, bulk, massing and choice of materials harm the setting of the listed building. ... These deficiencies could be remedied by a reconsideration of the choice of materials and a reduction in the height, mass and bulk of the building."
The proposed scheme would have 246 bedrooms and would include a cafe facing York Road.