Cancer support centre at Royal Free Hospital approved by Camden Council

The design of the new building

The design of the new building - Credit: Studio Libeskind

A cancer support centre with a roof garden will be built in the Royal Free Hospital’s southern car park.  

Camden Council has approved plans for Maggie’s Centre to construct a two-storey timber facility designed by international architects Studio Libeskind.  

The cancer support charity, which provides free advice, is hoping to open its new 435 sq m base by the summer of 2022.  

The services of Maggie’s are currently housed locally at the Royal Free’s Cancerkin Centre following a merger in 2016.  

A Royal Free spokesperson said: “We’re delighted that planning for approval for a Maggie’s centre at the Royal Free Hospital has now been granted.  

“This is a hugely exciting project for the trust and our close collaboration with Maggie's, providing specialist cancer care, will ensure that we can continue to provide the very best support to cancer patients and their families.” 

A total of 12 parking spaces will be permanently removed as a result of the development.  

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A further 30 spaces will be temporarily lost during construction and existing trees will be felled as part of the works.  

A small number of objections were lodged during the planning process including concerns over the size of the rooms in the new facility.  

Users of the existing base in the Cancerkin Centre expressed concern that the new Maggie’s Centre would have less space, in particular the exercise room where yoga classes are held to help clients’ recovery.   

Maggie's Centre hopes to open by summer 2022

Maggie's Centre hopes to open by summer 2022 - Credit: Studio Libeskind

The absence of treatment rooms for pain management practices such as massage and acupuncture was also raised.  

But the Heath & Hampstead Society said the development would make a positive impact on the local community.

David Castle, the chair of the group’s planning committee, said: “We would be pleased to see it built and it certainly provides an extra facility on the site which is nice.

“It might actually improve the look of those depressing car parks.”

A Maggie’s spokesperson said: “Our plans for a purpose-built centre will ensure we are able to support as many people as possible living with cancer, as well as family and friends, from across the area served by the Royal Free Hospital.”