The City of London’s planning committee is set to approve revised plans for a Steven Holl-designed Maggie’s Centre at St Bart’s Hospital
Minor tweaks to the previously consented cancer care centre scheme at Smithfield - a controversial design which was only narrowly passed by the City of London last July - are expected to be rubberstamped tomorrow (24 February).
Holl’s proposals were met with fierce resistance by campaign group The Friends of the Great Hall – headed by Marcus Setchell, the retired gynaecologist who had delivered Prince George - who claimed the designs would have a massively detrimental impact on the hospital’s Grade I*-listed Great Hall by James Gibbs (1738).
A month after the centre was given the green light, the doctor launched judicial review proceedings to block the contentious scheme arguing that the City had failed to take into account the ‘significant harm the development will cause to the 800 year old UNESCO listed site’.
However Setchell’s legal challenge against the new wing was dropped after Friends of the Great Hall came to an agreement with Baggie’s and Barts Health NHS Trust.
The latest scheme includes a number of alterations to the internal layout of the Holl building and will open up access from the North Block onto the centre’s secondary staircase to provide wheelchair access into the Great Hall. Toilets for those using the hall will also be added into the centre’s previously unused basement space.
Barts Health NHS Trust has also agreed to incorporate additional facilities within planned work on another building adjoining the North Wing.
Holl’s original proposals were rejected by the City in June 2013 citing concerns over the glass faςade. The scheme was revised to pull the glass faςades back, further exposing the North Wing.