Planning application still stands for Centre at St Barts

Tuesday 29 April

Planning application still stands for Centre at St Barts

Following the news that The Friends of The Great Hall and Archive have received planning approval for their scheme at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, we can confirm that our planning application for a new Maggie’s Centre, designed by leading architect Steven Holl, on the same site still stands.

We submitted revised plans for the new Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital on 31 March 2014, following further consultation with Barts Health NHS Trust, English Heritage and a number of other interested parties.

In line with UK planning law, both planning submissions could receive approval and the decision on which scheme to proceed with will rest with the owner of the land, Barts Health NHS Trust.

We're awaiting the outcome of our planning application which is anticipated to take place this summer.

Barts Health NHS Trust in support of Maggie's

Maggie’s understand that Barts Health NHS Trust are in full support of the application made for a new Maggie’s Centre and would not wish to proceed with the Friends’ proposal for the site.

The Barts Health NHS Trust identified the site that would make the Centre most effective. Located on the main square opposite the cancer wing, the building will be close to the Oncology ward with easy access to the main hospital entrance. They believe it is possible to combine the existing plans for the Maggie’s Centre with the renovation of the Great Hall.

The alternative location proposed by the Friends at St Bartholomew’s Hospital is not feasible and presents a number of difficulties including the obstruction of light to an adjacent Trust building and the restriction of space which would significantly limit the number of people the charity will be able to support.

A spokesperson at Barts Health NHS Trust has gone on record to say that the proposed alternative site is unsuitable:

“While acknowledging the decision of the City of London Planning and Transportation Committee, we continue to believe that the interests of cancer patients and their families is best served by the planning application that has been submitted by the Maggie’s charity, which we wholeheartedly support. It will provide a much needed support facility for our cancer patients and their families, carers and friends, strengthening the position of St Bartholomew’s Hospitalas a world class cancer centre.

“We look forward to discussing these plans with the Committee at the appropriate time, and working with The Friends on a plan we believe is best for our cancer patients and their families and best for the long term future of the North Wing.”

The design

Steven Holl's design recognises the charity’s responsibility to create a building that is a fitting neighbour to the very important historic buildings at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The scheme has been fully supported by English Heritage who point to the improvements that the building will make by the revelation and restoration of key architectural features.

Maggie’s commissioned Steven Holl based on his significant experience of designing buildings of contemporary design in complex urban settings, always ensuring the new building complements those around it.

A three storey ‘urban townhouse’, the new Centre has been designed to an exceptionally high quality that will ensure the building’s longevity. The building will be full of open space and light created through a layering of materials.

The exterior works in harmony with the interior, allowing natural light to wash over the floors and walls, ever changing through the natural daylight pattern of the seasons. Internally the floors are connected through an open curved staircase with the building culminating at the top with rooms for activities opening out through wide sliding doors to the roof garden which will grow flowering trees.

Honoured to be working with St Bartholomew's Hospital

Maggie’s Chief Executive, Laura Lee says:

“We are honoured to be working with St Bartholomew’s Hospital to bring cancer support of the highest quality to North East London. The Trust chose the site that would make our Centre most effective, we then appointed Steven Holl as an architect with empathy for historic buildings. We recognise our responsibility to create a building that respects the heritage of the site and are committed to our plans which we believe work alongside those of leading conservation architect Donald Insall Associates to ensure the future of the Great Hall.  

"A Maggie’s Centre at St Bart’s would provide real benefits to patients and families across the seven London boroughs which refer cancer patients to the hospital. With 5,500 new cancer diagnoses a year at St Bart’s, we are anxious to have this Centre open to patients as soon as possible”.

 A film about our proposal