It’s a crunch week for me — working on the council budget, a raft of exciting Open Knowledge Foundation work plus the planning applications for the site of the old Royal Alexandra Children’s hospital coming to Planning Committee this Wednesday.
Today I was informed that finally Taylor Wimpey have completely given up on their scheme to totally demolish the existing buildings on the site. For at least four years they have been presenting applications depending on razing the whole site — which the clear majority of the community opposed. In 2010 they submitted a new complete demolition scheme along with, for the very first time, a conversion scheme.
The full back story can be followed in my previous blog posts but most recently both Green MP Caroline Lucas and I had separately written to Taylor Wimpey’s CEO asking for them to drop the divisive and unwelcome complete demolition plans. Today, only a day before the hearing at planning committee, officers have confirmed that the demolition plans have been withdrawn.
So only the conversion scheme remains to be considered. Already a victory for the many residents and their associations who have worked so tirelessly over the years, as well as planning officers, to secure a better outcome for the site. The conversion option isn’t perfect but we’ve come a LONG way from what was on the table four years ago.
Click to read the submission to the Planning Committee I penned on behalf of Green councillors for the two wards the site borders (PDF).