By Sadiq Khan MP
This morning I received confirmation from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP that Springfield Hospital’s planning application to re-develop the site will be permitted.
This was the final point (bar a challenge in the High Court) where residents would be able to easily lobby against these plans – and I am extremely disappointed that the result has gone this way. The government preaches localism, and putting planning powers back in the hands of local residents, but has ignored the views of thousands of people living around the hospital who opposed this planning application.
In this decision the Secretary of State addressed the objections about loss of Metropolitan Open Land, loss of the golf course, impact on the transport and neighbouring residential roads, stating that “He considers that the adverse effects of the proposed scheme, including harm to the MOL, loss of the golf course and concerns about congestion, should be weighed against the cumulative benefits (also taking account of the impact of the Northern Line upgrade in helping to reduce road congestion).
You can read the full decision document, and the planning report, on my website here.
This isn’t the end – the hospital now needs to do detailed planning work to bring this development to fruition, and I believe there will be opportunities for engagement and negotiation at this stage to ensure that the worst aspects of these plans are dealt with as far as possible.
Throughout this campaign the overwhelming majority of local residents have always accepted that there is a need for the hospital to be regenerated, and have never been against development in principle – they were simply against the overdevelopment of the site. I will continue to work to support local residents in this matter, and to bring about a development that is good for all of the community, as far as this is now possible.
I will be meeting soon with the Chair of the Trust and the new Chief Executive to discuss their plans, and what they can do to rebuild relations with the local community.
Please do get in touch with me to let me know your views on this decision.
I will of course keep you updated. http://www.sadiqkhan.co.uk/index.php/contact