Published: 05/05/2005, Volume II5, No. 5954 Page 6
Hopes of resurrecting the£1bn Paddington health campus project have been dealt a massive blow after architects were appointed to develop a new planning application for flats and offices on the site.
Paddington Development Corporation Ltd, which owns the land earmarked for the scheme, is revisiting a project for which it was granted planning consent in 2000.
The company pulled out of the health campus deal in March after becoming increasingly frustrated by the Department of Health's failure to agree the outline business case.
The health campus team was hopeful a modified scheme involving a land-swap deal between Westminster council and PDCL could save the project. But while council planners say they are still in talks with PDCL, company spokesman Peter Morley remained adamant that the campus was no longer on its agenda.
'It is finished - It is behind us. This application is for a completely new development which will happen with this land, ' Mr Morley told HSJ.
Chicago-based architects Perkins and Will are working on the application for the lucrative Grand Union site at the Paddington Basin in west London.
Mr Morley added: 'We are not pursuing any discussions with regard to the Paddington health campus - how much more direct can one be?' Westminster council head of planning Graham King said it was still in discussion with both parties 'about a range of schemes and options' for the site.
He expected the matter to be resolved by September.
'Over the next six months the city council would expect increasing clarity as to which scheme or variant is likely to proceed, either for the land that PDCL will be developing for commercial and residential use or the future of the health campus.' Jean Brett, chair of the Heart of Harefield group, which is campaigning against the campus, said PDCL's announcement already provided clarity - that the health campus scheme was dead.
'In the light of this clarity it is expected that allegations that this land is still available for hospital development will cease. Sadly the type of spin that has been prevalent has merely tainted this unfortunate project further, ' she said.