Councillors approve £21m Nelson Hospital re-development
A £21m plan to redevelop the former Nelson Hospital alongside a three storey retirement home will go ahead.
Councillors approved plans on Thursday, September 6, to develop the vacant site into a new local care centre funded by the sale of a second site car park where McCarthy and Stone have plans to build a retirement home for 51 residents.
Last week the former One Foot in the Grave actress Annette Crosbie, who lives in Manor Gardens which backs onto hospital on Kingston Road in Raynes Park, branded the retirement home as "deeply offensive" and called for the building, which she described as a "warehouse", to be redesigned.
Following the decision to approve, she said: "You got the distinct impression that you were just an irritant and that you could be there because that’s the rules but they were going to do what they wanted.
"I wonder who decided to lump these two applications for these sites together because it was the wrong decision.
"By lumping them together they could use the pressure - if you don’t get the retirement home we won’t get the hospital.
"Everyone kept mentioning the hospital and the pressure was on.
"One speaker called it blackmail, I would call it coercion and it’s wrong and it shouldn’t have been done."
She added: We weren’t against anything at all we just wanted a little more time for a proper consultation.
"All we would have said is please can you make it a bit smaller and make it a bit more humane."
Speaking after the meeting Ian Smith, a resident of Manor Gardens, said: "We all felt that our concerns counted for very little.
"There was an air of inevitability about the whole thing and that it was a done deal."
Concerns were also raised about a lack of car parking with 41 spaces currently allocated to staff and just 27 to patients.
The new site will feature new facilities and two GP practices with Canon Hill Lane and Church Lane due to move into the centre as part of NHS south west London's Better Health Care Closer to Home initiative.
Bob Welshman, chairman of the Nelson Community Reference group, set up as a link to the NHS and made up of residents, councillors and interested parties, said: "Nobody likes everything but we did feel that the best compromises were reached. So we do feel that we have a building which makes a contribution to the conservation of the area.
"It will be a powerful centre for our community."