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Take two: Hopkins £42m Royal Free Hospital scheme goes back to planning

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Hopkins Architects is set to be granted permission for a new building at the Royal Free Hospital in north London for the second time this year as councillors reconsider the proposals

The £42million Institute of Immunity and Transplantation overlooking Hampstead Green was originally granted permission in February by councillors in Camden.

But this Friday (7 August) the borough’s committee will re-examine the proposals after legal concerns were raised over the legaility of the original permission.

Following the approval, the Hampstead Green Neighbourhood Group wrote to the council threatening to launch a judicial review.

The group claimed that planning officers had not properly applied the law in its consideration of the effect of the 9,000m² scheme on nearby heritage assets and a conservation area.

The borough’s planners then sought advice from a planning barrister, who told them that the decision to grant permission was vulnerable to a successful legal challenge.

A new report has been prepared which says that although the scheme would cause harm to a listed church and the conservation, this is outweighed by the benefits of the scheme. Officers have recommended that the proposals should be approved by councillors.

If reapproved, the scheme will house around 200 researchers and will include laboratories, a patient hotel, new offices and covered car parking.

The building, which had been due to start on site this spring and complete in 2017, has been designed to ‘foster enhanced interaction among researchers, with research facilities and supporting space making the heart of the institute a vibrant international hub for clinical research’.

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