The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is supporting a petition by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust against approval of a major redevelopment of Royal Brompton hospital’s Chelsea site.
The ICR believes a consultation on the proposals conducted by Kensington and Chelsea Council has progressed too quickly to properly consider all options, and believes there should be a pause in the process to allow time for concerns to be addressed.
Details of the petition – filed with the Council by The Royal Marsden and open until 1 May – are available here. It requests that officials discuss the Royal Brompton’s proposals further with local stakeholders before giving them the go-ahead.
Toward the end of 2013, the Royal Brompton announced plans to redevelop its site at Sydney Street in Chelsea, funded by the sale of several of its properties. These include its Fulham Wing – located in Chelsea between the ICR and its partner hospital The Royal Marsden.
But while the ICR is supportive of the Royal Brompton’s desire to invest in new hospital facilities, it has concerns over the redevelopment plans.
The Royal Brompton’s proposals suggest turning the principal access route to the ICR’s laboratories in Chelsea - Dudmaston Mews – into ‘less of a service road’ by using it as a public space or for mews housing. Any restriction in service access would damage the ICR’s ability to use its laboratories.
The Royal Brompton’s proposals also include changing the use of the Fulham Wing, taking it out of social and community use, and redeveloping it as luxury residential properties.
But the Chelsea sites of the ICR and The Royal Marsden are severely constrained for space and the sale of the building would provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for The Royal Marsden to purchase the Fulham Wing, with support from the ICR, to expand patient care and translational and clinical research.
The ICR is strongly supporting a campaign by The Royal Marsden to be allowed to buy the Fulham Wing, and believes it has a credible, alternative scheme for redeveloping the building.