Hospital trust began building works before gaining permission
St George's Hospital
St Georgeâ€™s Hospital has been slammed for acting â€œabove the lawâ€ after it began building works without permission.
The plans for a three-storey temporary hospital office were submitted in March but building work began before planning permission was given.
Planning chiefs at Wandsworth Council accused the trust of acting like they had a â€œget out of jail free cardâ€ and that they had begun other building works without permission in the past.
Labour councillor Peter Carpenter told the planning meeting, â€œMy concern about this is we had a similar one a few months ago, where [St Georgeâ€™s] seemed to start work before it came to planning.
â€œI think we need to give a message to St Georgeâ€™s that planning applications do actually apply to them, they seem to think theyâ€™re above the law.
â€œI was personally minded to vote against it to make that point.â€
Labour colleague Cllr Graham Loveland added, â€œI get the fact of the demands of the hospital, but essentially they have a get out of jail free card here.â€
But the hospital in Tooting said planners were aware at all times of the development and the trust followed special Covid laws that allowed building to start early.
A St Georgeâ€™s spokesperson said, â€œSt Georgeâ€™s followed emergency planning legislation brought in by the government to allow Covid-19 pandemic response building works to commence.
â€œWandsworth Council planners were aware and consulted at all times and the trust sought to obtain full planning consent well before the emergency legislation expires.â€
The development was unanimously approved by councillors.
James Mayer - Local Democracy Reporter
July 30, 2021