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Revealed: Plans for 'new towns' on hospital sites

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Two large scale developments on hospital sites in south London are being considered, documents obtained by Health Service Journal reveal.

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Papers from the London Estates Board (LEB), released under the Freedom of Information Act, show plans being worked on for a significant development at King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust’s site in Denmark Hill and another on land owned by Lewisham and Greenwich Trust at Lewisham Hospital.

At Lewisham Hospital, an assessment by the LEB in July 2017 said there was potential for 1,000 new homes and commercial units with a redevelopment of part of the site.

The summary said: “The site has potential for reconfiguration not least to provide fit for purpose service accommodation, improved accommodation for the Ladywell Unit [a mental health site], which may release land for other uses.

“Overall, across these and other areas of public sector land, the Ladywell area offers the potential for significant development – new fit for purpose operational space to meet transforming service needs, more than 1,000 new homes, new retail, leisure and employment space, infrastructure to support that growth and capital receipts to help fund that development.”

The document said “the northern end of the Lewisham Hospital site houses some older low rise property, and although predominantly trust owned, also has the council owned registry office”. It added that the Ladywell Unit was “not built for its current use and is coming to the end of its operational life”.

A spokesman for Lewisham and Greenwich Trust said: “These early, emerging plans are part of the work that we said would do as part of the wider London devolution project. We first spoke to staff and stakeholders about this in early 2017.

“Progress since then has been slow as this is a complex project involving a number of organisations. Nothing has been decided yet and we will be engaging with staff and partners as our plans are developed. These plans fit within the Lewisham council-led devolution work, so much of the planning work is likely to be taken forward after the local elections later this year.”

The plans relating to King’s College Hospital would also involve land owned by UK Power Networks, which has a site next to the hospital, and work has started on “the design, viability and economic development work to look at the feasibility of developing the site”.

A document presented to the LEB also said the King’s development could include “additional hospital uses, increased employment space and enabling residential development”.

It added: “The funding is to help with the masterplan for the KCH campus and wider environs including the regeneration of Loughborough Junction.”

Minutes of a LEB meeting in May 2017 reported Malcolm Hines, then finance director for Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group and a representative of the south east London sustainability and transformation partnership, as saying: “Within south east London, there are some major regeneration opportunities in areas where there is huge predicted growth, including some which will practically be new towns.”

King’s College Hospital made no comment on the plans at the time of publication.

 

 

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