Article from Ham & High, Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Plans for an NHS mental health trust to convert two-thirds of a hospital site into housing fail in their legal duty to account for residents’ future health needs, say campaigners.
The ambitious plans for the overhaul of Tottenham’s St Ann’s Hospital site to provide 470 homes and a new hospital do not make allowances for the demands on healthcare services that will come with an expected 10,000 new homes in the area over the next 20 years.
New campaign group Haringey Needs St Ann’s Hospital (HaNSAH), made up of local residents who want better health service provision on the site and are “concerned that their views have not been considered” so far, has submitted a 10-page objection letter to Haringey Council’s planners about the huge scheme.
Don’t forget, if you would like to help us plan the campaign join us at our next meeting at 6.30pm on Monday 18th August at Chestnuts Community Centre on St Ann’s Road opposite the hospital.
Objection letter: HaNSAH Objection to St Anns Hospital Site
They argue that Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEHMHT), which is behind the application, has failed to ascertain the “health needs” of the site to prove some of the land is surplus to requirements – as they should have done – before ploughing ahead with plans for housing.
Similarly, Haringey Council has a legal requirement to establish the healthcare needs of the borough’s residents, yet has also failed to demonstrate that most of the site is no longer needed for healthcare – a “critical factor” in letting the scheme go ahead, says HaNSAH.
“The outline planning application fails to recognise the implications of the Tottenham Plan and the building of 10,000 new homes on the east of the borough over the next 20 years.”
HaNSAH campaign group
This alone is a “robust” reason for Haringey’s planning committee to reject the scheme as “no decision about the future of the St Ann’s Hospital site can be taken without a thorough assessment of healthcare needs,” it adds.
There is also “no evidence” that the scheme has been considered alongside Haringey Council’s own 20-year vision for the regeneration of Tottenham – including how healthcare provision will need to look to support an extra 10,000 homes in the next 20 years. “Failure to properly assess and to plan for additional facilities needed in the future will result in ad hoc development on the site and runs contrary to the stated aim of [the trust] to provide integrated health services,” says HaNSAH.
It says there are strong arguments for a new urgent care centre, integrated child health centre and more GP surgeries on the site. HaNSAH campaigners have already collected 500 signatures in support of their objections, they say.
The plans, revealed by the Journal in June, would see the huge 11.5-hectare site split between housing and a massively revamped mental health hospital.
If approved, up to 470 flats and houses will be built for around 1,100 new residents. The multi-million-pound overhaul will also see the hospital facility squeezed into an area one third the size it is now to free up space for homes – but the healthcare trust promises “no loss of services during or following” the redevelopment, which could take five years to realise.
The village-like development will also include shops and green spaces, including a large formal square acting as a focal point.
Haringey’s planning committee is expected to rule in the autumn on the application, which comprises a mammoth 173 separate documents and is available to view on Haringey Council’s planning site. It is summarised in a 57-page planning statement. Regardless of the council’s decision, the final word on the application will rest with the Mayor of London’s office, which has already said the scheme “does not comply” with the overarching London Plan, but minor changes would solve that.
The GLA wants “further justification” for the proposed housing mix, and the “maximum reasonable amount” of affordable housing on the site. The trust should also “reconsider the extent of the permeability of the boundary wall to create a more open environment” along St Ann’s Road – meaning some of it may have to be demolished to satisfy the Mayor.