Mayor Boris fails to heal QE Hospital worries

QE: Queen Elizabeth children’s hospital crnr Goldsmith’s Row and Hackney Road London E2 8P 271013 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Emun Elliott TV and cinema actor living in Hackney @ London Film Festival for screening of BBCFilms' Strawberry Fields 181011 © david.altheer@gmail.co
Protester: Hackney-resident actor Emun Elliott

THE OLD Queen Elizabeth children’s hospital at the corner of Goldsmith’s Row and Hackney Road E2 8PS is to be demolished and replaced by flats that will reach to nine floors.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has declined to veto the housing association development proposed for the site and recommended by Tower Hamlets council planning committee.

The “Queuey”, as it used to be called, is in a conservation area. Developer Family Mosaic has rejected the suggestion of local people that it renovate the buildings and incorporate flats within them.

The association says that would not be economically feasible, although two old facades, front shown above, will be kept. The association website promises 188 homes: 116 for private sale, 48 for affordable [That ill-defined term again – Ed.] rent and 24 for shared ownership.

Taxpayers [You mean us. – Ed.] will be hoping that Family Mosaic will not have to raise the rents it charges tenants as it ventures into the high-risk sphere of  property development. Even the housing-associations regulator, criticised last month, September 2013, by a parliamentary Select Committee, is expressing its worries publicly.

Neighbour Hackney council objected to the QE development proposal, and 2,600 people signed a petition against it. The petitioners say on their website: “Our views were sidelined by Boris and his planners. These plans have been undemocratically imposed by City Hall officials and have no support on the ground.

Brutal beauty? Rear section in Goldsmith’s Row
Brutal beauty? Rear section in Goldsmith’s Row

We will be holding a public meeting. ”

One local signatory, TV and cinema actor Emun (“The Paradise”) Elliott, says: “This is an area of London that has suffered from bad design and planning in the past. Let’s not build another mistake.”

The 1870s-built hospital closed in 1997. The rear section, the Hayward Building in Goldsmith’s Row, was designed by influential modernist Tom Ellis of Lyons Israel Ellis in 1972.

Its modernist style sits oddly with its Victorian surroundings but admirers contend that 41 years on, as an example of brutalist architecture, it is worth preserving.

Hamish Scott 271013

* Planning application PA/13/00384

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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2 thoughts on “Mayor Boris fails to heal QE Hospital worries

  1. I’m afraid it all boils down to money.

    Now, if the Chinese invested in our buildings, I guess you would be writing in complaint that Hackney council is selling out and that British buyers are being forced out of the market.

  2. As a child, I was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital on several occasions. Thanks to their swift intervention, I was saved from death on one occasion.

    As a child, I suffered a lot from ear infection and visited their clinics a number of times for care. It was a truly WONDERFUL hospital that was of great importance to the area.

    It was a tragic loss when it closed in 1997 and it is even more tragic that it has been left to rot away until it is only fit to be demolished. This is the typical approach of councils.

    The shell of the building should be kept and incorporated into a new company building.

    Hackney Road was once filled with glorious houses and was where the more wealthy members of the East End lived.

    The borough councils of Tower Hamlets and Hackney are run by folks with little sense of history and they fail to appreciate the value of older buildings.

    Wickham’s in the Mile End Road is another wonderful building that has been left to rot and will soon fall down.

    What is wrong with the people who run Britain?

    Thank you for your fine and informative letter. I shall look at the Mile End situation. – Ed.

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