Kenton hospice launches campaign to stop development next to dying patients
PUBLISHED: 07:58 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 06 March 2019
Hospice bosses in Kenton have launched a campaign to stop the redevelopment of a neighbouring building they say will force them to close vital beds.
St Luke’s Hopsice, in Kenton Grange, is urging Brent Council to drop plans to bulldoze the Clock Cottage next door and build a two-storey block in its place.
A petition asking the planning committee to reject the plans received 1,445 signatures in its first two days.
Hospice CEO Alpana Malde received notification last week that the council intends to continue with its plan for 17-self contained flats for people with learning difficulties. The block is five metres from the boundary of St Luke’s Hospice and 10 from patient bedrooms.
Ms Malde said the plans were “poorly thought out”.
“We just have seen the closure of beds at two neighbouring NHS hospices,” she said, “and are facing a significant increase in demand for our services.
“The noise and dust from building work of this magnitude so close to rooms where people at the end of their life are being cared for will give us no choice but to close beds at a critical time.
“If we are forced to close beds, where will these people go?”
The revised scheme, which was approved in 2017, is to reinstate and improve the portion of Woodcock Park that is currently fenced off and inaccessible.
Ms Malde said the development would cause distress for patients.“St Luke’s Hospice supports people in the last few weeks or days of their lives – an extremely emotional and vulnerable time for them and their loved ones.
“The place where people who have passed away at the hospice are taken away is easily visible from parts of the new development.
“We strongly oppose any proposal which encroaches on our patients’ privacy and wellbeing.”
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform said: “St Luke’s is a much valued local organisation and we’ll continue to work with them as plans are developed. The proposals for Clock House are at an early design stage and have yet to go through the planning process.
“We’re committed to doing our bit to tackling the chronic shortage of housing in Brent and do understand that any development impacts on the local community.
“We look forward to working with St Luke’s to address their concerns.”
To sign the petition go to stlukes-hospice.org/support-us/the-difference-you-can-make/st-luke’s-hospice-petition