CamdenNewJournal

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Hospital should rethink the site of their proposed Pears Building

28 September, 2017

St Stephen’s in Hampstead

• IN recent letters both Gene Adams (The Pears Building – a ‘vanity project’ – would be better placed elsewhere, September 14), who is noted for her work on conservation and heritage in Hampstead, and the architect Richard Ferraro (Is there support for a feasibility study to relocate the planned Pears Building?, September 21) have cogently argued that the Royal Free Hospital’s proposed Pears Building should not be built as currently proposed on the footprint of the car park in Pond Street but on their Lawn Road car park with a well-designed building fronting onto Fleet Road.

The merits of this suggestion are that it would very much improve the appearance of Fleet Road, which is currently ugly and ragged, and would be much cheaper and easier to build.

It would also rid us of the current proposal which the hospital, for a very long time, have been trying to work into a proposal that we can all be assured will not cause any more than negligible damage to neighbouring buildings the most notable of which is the wonderful Grade I-listed St Stephen’s which is nowadays very well used as a community facility having been lovingly restored at great expense.

It should be borne in mind that St Stephen’s is up slope from the site currently proposed and exceedingly close to it.

St Stephen’s was never consulted over these proposals and its team of eminent experts have long argued that the hospital’s proposals have not been properly worked through – a view with which the planning committee eventually agreed – and who still believe that the project cannot be delivered without material damage to St Stephen’s. Why take the chance?

Richard Ferraro poses the question; would objector groups support the idea of a feasibility study by the Royal Free to relocate their proposed Pears project to the Lawn Road car park, fronting Fleet Road?

As chair of the Hampstead Green Neighbourhood Group, who have been arguing against this proposal since it emerged, I confirm that we would very much welcome it as well as the prospect of the hospital engaging with the local community rather than imposing its potentially destructive ideas upon it when they are not necessary.

JEFFREY GOLD
Chair, Hampstead Green Neighbourhood Group

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