Londoners unite against major development at hospital site

Presswire

A petition opposing the massive re-development of Springfield Hospital in South London, with over 1,000 signatures, will be handed to Wandsworth Council at 2pm on 14th February at the Glenburnie Road entrance to the site. Press are invited to attend.

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 Boris Johnson, who promised in his election manifesto to oppose developments of this nature.

Developers intend to build 1,200 new residential units at Springfield Garden Village, Tooting, bringing in up to 3,000 new residents and over 1,700 cars to one of the most affluent areas of the Capital.

Their plans would see the calm of the present 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 infrastructure and changing forever the character of the local communities.

The developers and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust claim development of the site is needed to generate the revenue required to pay for the improvement of its 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 their improvement.

Local resident Thom Reilly, who runs the 'Say NO to the extensive development of Springfield Village' campaign, 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 unforgivable 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 upgrade 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.”

Springfield Victorian asylum 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 inner 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 eight storeys in places, the development threatens the very nature not only of Springfield Hospital but the local residential communities which surround it.

Notes to Editors:

For further information contact Thom Reilly on 07974 824 014

Or go to http://springfieldhospital.googlepages.com/home

The hospital’s plans can be found at:
http://www.swlstg-tr.nhs.uk/future/index.asp

ENDS