Lambeth council vetoes proposals for residential-led project on grounds of height and calls for a radical rethink

Plans put forward by Sir Terry Farrell for a residential-led mixed-use project at a south London hospital have been rejected.

Lambeth council objected to the height of Founders Place, a 641-unit scheme on a site east of St Thomas' Hospital, directly across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Council officials vetoed plans for eight buildings, which ranged in height from 20 to five storeys, and took issue with the density and massing of the scheme and its impact on a nearby park.

A senior case officer said Farrell would have to make "significant alterations" if he wanted to resubmit the scheme. He said: "The development as it stands does not offer a suitable living environment for residents. The buildings would have to be lowered and moved away from the boundaries of Archbishop's Park."

Farrell's firm had proposed 231 key-worker residential units, a long-stay hotel for families of patients at the Evelina Children's Hospital and a nursery for NHS staff. In addition, Farrell had pencilled in 300 private flats to fund the scheme. The proposals involve the demolition of former Victorian school buildings, now occupied by the London Tibetan Buddhist Centre.

The development does not offer a suitable living environment

Senior case officer, Lambeth council

The council has met twice to discuss the scheme. Last November, client Guy's and St Thomas' Charity withdrew its application minutes before the committee was due to assemble. It then submitted a revised application at the end of March, which moved the buildings back from the edge of the park.

At the latest planning meeting, Guy's and St Thomas' announced concessions that included a park view for existing tenants, and Farrell addressed the committee.

Geoffrey Shepherd, the chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, said: "We're very disappointed by the outcome as this development would have brought great benefits to the regeneration of a rundown part of north Lambeth, but also provided much needed residential accommodation for key healthcare staff. The trustees of the charity are meeting later this month to consider whether or not to appeal."