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Friday, 28 March 2014


The Royal Brompton's plan to flog off land to overseas property developers impacts upon Chelsea residents for two reasons.
The Royal Marsden needs the Fulham Road Wing to  maintain and expand its world renowned reputation....
.....and Chelsea residents want to halt to the exploitation of their community by greedy off shore property developers. 
Residents are tired of the council changing the planning rules for the benefit of developers. 
The Royal Brompton's estate is classed for medical use: and it should remain for that use only.

If Guangzhou R & F Properties Corporation succeed in buying the Royal Brompton's property assets it will prove that overseas money is far more powerful than the wishes of our community.

Briefing paper on the future of the Fulham Road Wing


Last year The Royal Brompton Hospital made public their decision to sell off a large part of their estate in order to consolidate and redevelop their Sydney Street premises. The Royal Marsden hospital has had a long interest in one of these sites, the Fulham Road Wing building, which sits in between The Royal Marsden and our academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (“the ICR”) in order to further our world leading research, clinical trials and patient care. The Royal Marsden’s interest in this site has been known by the Brompton for many years with correspondence regarding this issue dating back to late 2009/2010 when we were looking at a potential joint use/development. We also publicly indicated an interest in this site in 2012 when these plans were first mooted, and submitted a pre-planning application and fee to RBKC council in Spring 2012.

However, at the consultation of the issues and options for The Royal Brompton consolidation programme in December 2013 it became clear that the course of action being put forward by the Royal Brompton for the Fulham Road Wing was solely for residential use. This would entail a change of use application for the building. It was a great disappointment to see that no option for community, social or healthcare use was included and The Royal Marsden’s interest in the Fulham Road Wing was not highlighted.

On 28 February 2014, RBKC launched a consultation into a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for The Royal Brompton’s development proposals where, again, only residential use was put forward as an option for the Fulham Road Wing. This made clear the Royal Brompton’s decision to ignore The Royal Marsden’s proposals to retain the building as a healthcare facility and instead to take the decision to maximise their cash receipts for the property. The consultation period for this SPD will last for six weeks up until 10 April.

The Royal Marsden has therefore prepared this briefing paper to ensure that local people understand and support the hospital’s interest in retaining the Fulham Road Wing as a healthcare facility in order to extend beyond its current maximum size. This will allow the building to become part of a world leading cancer centre instead of providing even more luxury residential housing in this part of London.

The current issue

We are currently operating at maximum capacity and have no more room to expand our Chelsea site for further world class research, clinical trials and patient care. This is in part due to the building work made necessary by the fire at the hospital in 2008 when the number of beds were reduced by 30 per cent in order to meet modern building standards. We are now unfortunately in the position of turning away patient referrals, and the situation is only set to get worse.

Why is The Royal Marsden important to Chelsea?

A world leading cancer hospital on your door step. The Royal Marsden has been a proud member of the Chelsea community since 1851. Since then we have expanded to become the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe specialising in cancer research diagnosis and treatment serving 50,000 patients every year. Together, with the ICR, we are recognised as the number four cancer centre in the world with the other three located in the United States. Together we are also the only National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre for Cancer in the UK.

Our pioneering work means that we can not only offer the best cancer care to those in the immediate area but impact on international treatment and research of the disease around the world. It is an unfortunate fact that with an ageing population cancer cases both in the UK and across the globe are rising. Thanks to the work of hospitals like The Royal Marsden, however, more people are surviving cancer. It is vital that The Royal Marsden’s ground breaking work can continue.

We have always appreciated being in the heart of Chelsea and want to remain in the area for the foreseeable future. Our commitment to the area is demonstrated by the fact that we have invested £100m into our Chelsea site over the last five years.

The Council needs to preserve health and social care facilities within Chelsea. While the Royal Brompton’s Fulham Road Wing is vitally important for the growth plans of The Royal Marsden we believe there is a wider point that goes beyond our hospital. The Council has a duty to ensure health and social care facilities are preserved for the community instead of even more luxury residential being imposed on the borough. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Core Strategy Policy CK1 seeks to protect and enhance health care facilities. However, by only allowing for residential options as part of the draft SPD the redevelopment plans of the Royal Brompton are set to go against this policy.

As part of The Royal Brompton Draft SPD the Council have stated that the improved services through the consolidation of the Royal Brompton’s hospital facilities on Sydney Street means that the aims of CK1 are satisfied as the Royal Brompton’s overall health care facilities will be improved.

However, we believe that if the Fulham Road Wing was converted into residential use and there was no option for The Royal Marsden to purchase the building and expand in Chelsea to continue to provide our critical health care services, policy CK1 would not be met. Rather than allowing further luxury residential to be built the council should treat the Fulham Road Wing as an individual building as well as noting the impact it will have on The Royal Marsden’s research, treatment and patient care. By doing this the Council would be able to enforce policy CK1 and allow the building to remain a health care facility for the community.

Our proposal

We understand the need for the Royal Brompton to reconfigure their portfolio so they can continue to offer world class heart and lung care. However, the Fulham Wing is a once in a lifetime opportunity for The Royal Marsden to expand within its current Chelsea base, into a building situated perfectly between the hospital and our academic partner, the ICR. We believe there is a way which takes the needs of both The Royal Marsden and the Royal Brompton into account and does not negatively impacting on the Royal Brompton’s overall goal

If we were able to purchase the Fulham Road Wing we would also retain the fa├žade, in keeping with the look and feel of the conservation area, while introducing a hybrid of healthcare service and provision including NHS facilities, private care, and delivery of world-leading clinical research. This will free up other space on our existing Chelsea site to ensure the continued development and substantial growth in world class translational clinical trial and research facilities.

We have the finances available to purchase the Fulham Road Wing as a health care facility, valued at approximately £30m, and deliver this expansion of The Royal Marsden. The money to fund this project would come from a hybrid of donations from The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Trust surplus, and a loan. The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has an excellent track record in fundraising for significant projects, including the new Children’s Centre on our Sutton site, and a large chunk of the post-fire redevelopment work. Our Foundation Trust status also allows us to acquire low interest loans.

Support The Royal Marsden

If you would like to help The Royal Marsden continue to be a world leading cancer facility and prevent further luxury residential development in Chelsea taking much needed health care space, then you can by participating in the SPD consultation of The Royal Brompton’s hospital development plans highlighting the following points:

  1. The Council need to retain the Fulham Road Wing as a healthcare facility.  The decision to grant the change of use for the Fulham Road Wing will have widespread implications for local residents. If luxury residential housing is approved it will be another step towards removing important amenities from Chelsea and turning the area into a residential ghetto.  The Council should not be prioritising luxury residential housing as there is a sufficient amount already in Chelsea. In contrast, there are not enough world-leading healthcare services.

  1. The Royal Marsden needs to expand to continue being a world leading cancer hospital in Chelsea. The Royal Marsden has been serving the Chelsea community for generations and by allowing it to expand into the Fulham Road Wing there is a once in a lifetime chance to grow its research, treatment and patient care. The Royal Marsden has the funding to acquire and develop the site without negatively impacting on the Royal Brompton's plans to redevelop and should, at the very least, be considered.

  1. Due to the speed of the process, and The Royal Marsden’s proposals not being taken into account, not all options have been fully considered. The Fulham Road Wing site has been used for healthcare for over a century and all alternatives need to be explored before the Council makes any firm commitments. Therefore there is a need for a pause in the planning process so the two hospitals can work together to ensure both health care facilities can continue to work in Chelsea successfully.

Consultation responses should be emailed to or sent to The Executive Director of Planning and Borough Development, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, The Town Hall, Horton Street, London W8 7NX

We would also thoroughly appreciate if you could spread our campaign to as many residents of Chelsea as possible.

If you have any further questions about The Royal Marsden’s proposals or our campaign please contact Matthew Faulding on 020 3178 3583 or email


  1. A well argued and very worthy case from the Marsden. But at the end of the day it is just "words" against the deep pockets of the developers who also have the K&C Planning Department by the short and curlies

    And the silly Cllr Coleridge who loves to mutter about his support for the "free market". I hope he never needs a pay day loan.

    1. Coleridge is a drowning boy at sea. He never checked into the world

  2. This is a no brainer. Cllr Paget-Brown needs to stand up and give some leadership. If he cannot figure this one out then it is time for him to step aside.

    What do these useless and feeble Coucnillors think that they are supposed to be there for?

  3. Staggering to learn that this subject is even being debated. There are times when it is necessary to stand back from all the silly words and forms regulations and ask the question "Is this the right thing to do?" Another word to use is "common sense".

    Wake up Councillors and Officers!

    1. The only way that the Marsden will make progress is if they manage to make the story catch fire in the press. And a celebrity or two is worth more than a thousand words.

  4. The Brompton needs the money too. Sale of the land for housing will get plenty of money for investment in local Healtcare

    1. The Marsden can pay the market rate for the land and then build their hospital. They need not lose the land. Just outbid the Arabs or whoever else is interested to acquire the site

    2. By the stroke of a pen the Council Planning Committee and Officers create £437 million of value by re zoning the land from hospital use to housing use. Nice little earner. Lets hope that all those involved are above the odd inducement here and there.

    3. Of course there are inducements, K+C is notorious. Why else would they ruin the borough?

    4. 7:38 and 7:35( doubtless the same pair of idiots) don't you get it? The land is NOT designated for residential use; its use is medical. Are you suggesting the core strategy plans are valueless and can be changed at the whim of overseas investors. Wake up, you dunderheads!

    5. Not a "dunderhead". The land is currently zoned for medical use. But the Council has the power to create value by designating the land for residential use. (The increase in value is estimated to be £435 million). No one else has this power.

      If I was a developer eager for profit, and especially a foreign developer looking for a safe haven for ill gotten profits, I would make a bee line for certain Councillors and Officers in K&C known to me and give them a wink that I am prepared to look after them.

      Get it?

    6. 9.37 needs to remind herself that the worthless Holland Park School playground (designated a school playground) suddenly was worth £110 million (the price it was sold for to developers) when the K&C Planning Committee signed a piece of paper that re designated the playground as residential land. OF COURSE there were no inducements to the kind and understanding Officers and Councillors involved in this charade.

      You pratess.....

    7. Lets do the math. In practice it is six persons (Councillors and Officials) who take an individual decision and sign the conversion from hospital to residential use. Take £2 million and share it around (that's less than 5% of the value created by a stroke of a pen) then that's more than £300k per person. Or a nice new pair of docksides, a top of the range BMW and a villa in Croatia.

      The clever developer will target the prime mover and a simple majority. If he knows his way around then that is only three people. Or more than £700k per individual. For that, our lucky public servants can trade up from the Croatian villa to an apartment in the South of France.

      Get rel guys

    8. The Met Police should come and have a little snoop about.
      Work out which Officers and Councillors are primarily involved with selling off our assets and then start checking these reptiles off-shore bank accounts.

    9. The Dame's contributors were never much good arithmetic. £2 million is not 5% of £435 million. It is less than 0.5%

  5. Fly On The Wall30 March 2014 at 16:28

    We have a growing list of Councillors who we know like to hob nob "a deux" with developers in order to "gather information". Some even like to arrive in style in the Mayor's Bentley to lunch alone with rich and powerful developers. When baubles are required it is even known for Hornton Street to give interest free unsecured loans to developers! (for example the "loan " to the well healed developers of the Commonwealth Institute).

    1. More bile on the Hornet. When Sir Merrick Cockle transported himself in the Bentley to have lunch at the Ritz with Sir Aiden Barclay he did so to save the taxi fare. Council tax payers should be grateful.

  6. The Dame's Reporter30 March 2014 at 16:30

    Here is a promise to all our readers. If the Brompton hospital land is signed over for residential developers then the Dame will publish the names of Councillors and Officials who took the decision.

  7. Conservative councillors are invariably instructed how to vote. With extremely rare personal exceptions, they obey those instructions to the letter. Due to the built in majority in Hornton Street, Planning is literally a done deal and has been for decades.

    It's nauseating.

  8. Unless there is a root and branch investigation into the corruption around this Council, nothing will change. Look at the attitude of the Cabinet to the call-in of their decision to lease Isaac Newton to Alpha Plus. Instead of addressing the valid criticisms, they queried the integrity of the Committee that was scrutinising them. So what is the betting that Alpha Plus will move two or three of its existing schools into Isaac Newton, sell off their current buildings for a massive profit, and then just close down their schools when the Isaac Newton lease runs out. And which members of the Cabinet and/or Officer Corps will benefit financially from that little opportunity? I don’t think it is NP-B, he is just the front man/stooge and needs to wake up.

    1. One of our Resident Associations commissioned an investigation of a past Chairman of the Planning Committee (a Councillor who pleaded poverty) and found that he had five offshore bank accounts and multiple properties in the Borough and in the country. The properties in K&C were squirreled away in an offshore trust. They were bought cheaply and renovated for cash. Of course.

      When challenged at the Standards Committee about the offshore trust, one of the committee members (Cllr Coleridge) muttered that "these arrangements are quite normal". Cllr Coleridge is a well trained Eton boy who hates a fuss.

    2. The basis of the complaint to the Standards Committee was that the Councillor in question had not declared his properties in the Register Of Interests. The Standards Committee decided that this was an "oversight" and asked the member "not to do this again". Fact.

      This is discipline K&C style. The Standards Committee has been abolished and replaced with nothing else. Hornton Street decided that it was too embarrassing for residents to have the opportunity to "make a fuss".

    3. Pass the sick bag, Dame

    4. The Hornet needs a more balanced judgement of Cllr Coleridge. Occasionally, just occasionally, he gets stirred up and does the right thing. For example his opposition to the Sloane Square redevelopment which was being pressed hard by his senior, Cllr Moylan. This was leadership in action and Cllr Coleridge should be applauded.

      Unfortunately he is taking a long time to start a crusade against the basement evil, but now that SEVEN basements are about to be excavated in his Chelsea Street, including one next door, it is to be hoped that Tim will "get religion"

    5. Fly On The Wall31 March 2014 at 08:06

      Cllr Coleridge's great strength is his charm. It works wonders with elderly ladies like the Dame. Cllr Elizabeth Campbell goes week at the knees whenever Tim gives her one of his smiles. The old dear goes completely to pieces.

    6. The Coleridge smile causes a Campbell wobble. It is one of the great events to behold in Kensington and Chelsea. Poor dear. Poor, poor dear.

    7. Kensington Tory31 March 2014 at 09:00

      Cllr Elizabeth Campbell is a dear old thing. Just like the Dame. She just needs to be kept out of harms way (for example the Education Committee - she is no match for Napoleon) and treasured as a mascot of days gone by

    8. The same Cllr Coleridge who is responsible for the RBKC Council's fascist "Decant Policy"- a charter for the social cleansing of North Kensington. Shame on him!

  9. Campden Hill Resident31 March 2014 at 07:16

    The Royal Marsden should take heart. Councillors and Officers caught up in the planning cesspit in Hornton Street know that the Dame is watching them. Shining her well known laser beam into dark corners. Behaviour is starting to change.

    Only last week, Mr Bore decided to throw out a mega basement application because it would "harm the roots of two trees in the garden". Brilliant stuff. We need more of this. It is called "administrative means to ensure resident wishes".

    Mr Bore deserves a reward lunch at the Ritz for him and partner. A gift of the Mayor including transport in the Bentley to and from the Town HAll.

    1. Lord Kensington31 March 2014 at 10:42

      Spiffing idea!

  10. The Brompton is ignoring their own members in this. See

  11. Q: Just what is the Brompton planning to do with the proceeds of sale?
    A. Plough it back into its redevelopment.
    Q. Does it really need to redevelop?
    A. Yes: its current facilities are hugely outdated and not remotely fit for purpose. Patients are suffering as a result.
    Q. Will it really reinvest the proceeds in the new facilities?
    A. Yes. The RBKC has made clear that this will be a condition of allowing a change in use.
    Q. What is the Marsden's position on this?
    A. It is more important that the Marsden should expand than the Brompton's patients should get the facilities which they so badly need.
    Q. What's wrong with that? After all, the Mardsen's patients have CANCER.
    A. The Brompton's patients include many with incurable, life-limiting and progressive diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and Primary Ciliary Dyskenesia. At the moment these patients receive treatment in often unsafe conditions and essential treatment (such as inpatient admissions to treat pulmonary exacerbations) is often delayed due to chronic under-capacity.

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