Residents unite against excessive development of local hospital

A petition opposing the over-development of Springfield Hospital, with over a thousand signatures on it, will be handed over to Wandsworth Council on Saturday 14 Feb at the Glenburnie Gates to the Site.

Members of Parliament and many Council members will be present to receive it and an invitation has also been sent to the Mayor of London, who promised in his election manifesto to oppose developments of this nature.

The developers want to build 1200 new residential units, bringing in up to 3000 new residents

and over 1700 cars. Their plans would see the cathartic calm of the site replaced by the frenetic transport of up to 1,000 lorries a week, bringing chaos and danger to the surrounding roads and nearby schools, overwhelming the already creaking public transport infrastucture and changing forever the character of the local communities. The developers claim that this level of development of the site is needed to generate the revenue required to pay for the improvement of the mental health facilities.

The local community – which is whole-heartedly in favour of bringing the mental health facilities at the site into the 21st Century – is up-in-arms at the scale and greed of the proposed plans, which they believe goes far beyond what is required to pay for the improvement of the mental health facilities.

Springfield Hospital was built in 1840. At that time it was established as a self-sufficient sanctuary of calm, treating deeply disturbed people and helping them recover according to the best medical practices of the time. Since that era it has continued to serve the most vulnerable members of our community and has become a much-loved symbol of Wandsworth.

Its grand buildings and sweeping gardens now give onto a 9-hole golf-course (one of the very few in central London) and this use of the open land in front of the buildings complements the aura of calm and peaceful tranquility so much needed by the patients treated there.

But this peace is now threatened by the arrival of a monstrous new development plan. Sprawling over 10 years, ripping down the beautiful, listed Victorian buildings and rising up to 8 storeys in height in places, the development threatens the very nature not only of Springfield Hospital but the local residential communities which surround it.

Local resident Thom Reilly said “We love wandering through the grounds at Springfield. Last week, when it was covered in snow, it felt like a little haven of peace, far away from the bustling noise of London. It would be unforgiveable if this sanctuary was destroyed by excessive and unnecessary development out of keeping with the local area and in the face of fierce local opposition. We all support the up-grade to the hospital, but not at the expense of this beautiful, peaceful area which is so important, not only for the local community but also for the recovery of those patients being treated at the hospital.”

Notes to Editors:

Further information can be found at http://springfieldhospital.googlepages.com/home and on the Wandsworth Council website athttp://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/Home/EnvironmentandTransport/PlanningService/Majordev/mds

Robert Laughton

Robert Laughton

Robert Laughton is a local resident of Wandsworth with an interested in the local community and a mission to explain to all and sundry the correct pronunciation of Magdalen (as in the college).
 

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