Proposals for Bethnal Green come after High Court quashes approval given to previous scheme

AHMM has drawn up new housing proposals for the disused London Chest Hospital site in Bethnal Green, two years after the High Court blocked an approval granted to a previous scheme.

Clarion Housing Group, which owns the 1.6ha site near to east London’s Victoria Park, is due to hold public consultation meetings on the latest plans starting at the weekend, ahead of lodging an application for up to 290 homes later in the year.

Clarion’s housebuilding arm, Latimer, lodged an environmental impact assessment request for scoping opinions with Tower Hamlets Council last month.


Source: Latimer/Clarion Housing Group

Sketch of AHMM’s proposals for the London Chest Hospital site, seen from the entrance to Victoria Park

It proposes the refurbishment of the hospital’s grade II-listed main building, sanitary tower and south wing, and the demolition of all other buildings on site.

Five new buildings of up to nine storeys in height would be constructed to deliver the new homes not incorporated into the refurbished parts of the hospital. A further 150 sq m of flexible non-residential space is also proposed.

Grid Architects’ previous plans for the site involved retention of the hospital main building and its sanitary tower, but not the south wing. Most controversially, the scheme – which was approved by Tower Hamlets in 2020 – required the relocation of a 400-year-old mulberry tree.

Tower Hamlets’ failure to ensure councillors considered a relevant part of National Planning Policy Guidance in relation to the tree’s relocation underpinned the High Court’s 2021 decision to overturn the approval.

Grid proposal for London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green

Grid proposal for London Chest Hospital, Bethnal Green

AHMM’s latest proposals for the Chest Hospital site do not require the relocation of the mulberry tree – said to be east London’s oldest tree.

Latimer said its proposals for the London Chest Hospital would include 35% affordable housing, and more homes made available for social rent than was previously the case.

Latimer bought out Crest Nicholson’s interest in the London Chest Hospital site last year and is now sole owner.