Construction of the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children at 20 Guilford Street – on the eastern corner of Lambs Conduit St – is now underway. This £80m development, which was granted planning permission in March last year, is being developed for Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCL’s Institute of Child Health and the Institute of Cardiovascular Science.
The Marchmont Association welcomed the proposal when it was first mooted, and requested that pedestrian facilities in adjacent Guilford Place be improved on the back of this scheme. We also pressed for the disused Grade II listed public conveniences to be restored and brought into use, as with similar buildings in other parts of London (see Development Opportunities elsewhere on this website). Our pleas were heard and improvements will be made to pedestrian facilities, in addition to the disused public conveniences being bought by the up-market Japanese Ramen noodle restaurant chain, whose application for a change of use is being considered by Camden Council.
More details of the new Centre can be found on the GOSH website via the link below.
With the demolition of the old halls now complete, the construction of the frame for the new building is rapidly proceeding. The noise levels are certainly less, but residents still have to put up with continuous hammering all day long on Monday to Friday and, more disturbing for many, Saturday mornings.
The northern town house adjacent to Hughes Parry Halls on Sandwich Street is at its top level, giving an idea of the scale of the eventual building (see photo). Between now and the end of the year cladding on the exterior of the building will be put in place. This arrives on big HGV lorries, that have to use Leigh Street rather than Bidborough St as they can’t turn round in Cartwright Gardens. At the busiest periods there will be 8 – 10 of these trucks every day.
The good news is that the project is currently on schedule and due for completion on 14th September 2016. Meanwhile, works to the Gardens begin from 14th September and will continue for a year. The gardens will be closed for the whole of this year including the tennis courts. The footpath through the gardens, though, will be maintained throughout.
One issue to watch is the plans for traffic flow on Cartwright Gardens after the completion of the scheme. This is a matter for Camden Council transport, rather than the University of London, but at the moment it seems unclear what Camden’s plans are. This could have important consequences that have yet to be thought through – on the arrival of coaches dropping off students during the summer for example. UPP is still insisting that the new building will not be used as a conference venue, and so it will not have a big impact on local traffic, aside from the arrival of students at the beginning of terms and for summer courses.
The Liaison group – including Marchmont Association members Gareth Maeer and Nigel Kemp – will come back to this over the autumn.