by Paul Cahalan
from Wandsworth Guardian 7 May 2009
The Bolingbroke Hospital has been saved from developers after English Heritage awarded it Grade II listing status.
Campaigners said the listing protection - which means the building may not be demolished or altered without special planning permission - paved the way for health services to return to the site.
But the new status could throw sale of the site - which is owned by St George’s Trust (SGT) - into doubt as any development would be more complex and costly.
English Heritage noted the Grade II listing - the third highest rating - was due to the building’s architectural interest, a rare set of children’s tiles (example pictured below) and its “unusually lavish” marble-clad lobby, war memorials and radiated corridors.
A spokesman for the Friends of Bolingbroke (FoB), which orchestrated the listing campaign, said: “We are delighted with the result as are the many supporters who have been contacting us in the past few days.
"Now Wandsworth Primary Care Trust has declared an interest in the building we sincerely hope the Bolingbroke will be able to continue providing valuable health services to the local community as it has for the past 128 years.”
Councillor Peter Dawson added: “I hope now SGT will realise the strength of feeling locally and work to develop the building for health, medical and social care facilities.
"If everyone works together the Bolingbroke can once again be a much loved and greatly valued facility for the people of Battersea.”
Battersea MP Martin Linton added: “It was always my hope that the hospital’s fine frontage on Wakehurst Road should be kept, along with the lovely Victorian tiles in the children’s ward, but we also need to make sure that new health facilities are up to modern standards.”
A spokesman for SGT said it had not yet received the listed documentation so could not comment on the implications.
The future of the hospital was thrown into doubt two years ago when the PCT announced health services at the site would cease and a report recommended the building be demolished.
But FoB fought back after a consultation revealed more than 80 per cent of residents wanted health services to continue at the building - which was built in phases between 1901 and 1936.
The PCT has said now plans for the site could include a GP surgeries, outpatient and diagnostic services as well as ante natal and post natal facilities and services for the elderly.
Date posted: 9 May 2009