Queen Mary's House: '150 homes' document due this summer

Queen Mary's House. Picture: Polly Hancock

Queen Mary's House. - Credit: Polly Hancock

The future of the Queen Mary's House site in Hampstead remains unclear, but a document which could pave the way for 150 homes is expected to be published this summer.

The Royal Free NHS Trust, which owns the site, has been looking to sell since 2018, but local groups are concerned at the potential for "unaffordable mansion flats". 

The former-hospital site, in Heath Street, is currently home to key worker accommodation.

In February 2020, Camden Council consulted on a draft site allocations local plan (SALP) – a planning document which would designate the area as space for 150 homes. 

The final document is likely to appear in the summer, according to the town hall.

Campaigners are concerned that the planning document could  boost the chances of a luxury developer successfully getting permission to build expensive flats. 

In 2018 and 2019, a group of local campaigners including the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum and the Heath and Hampstead Society (H&HS) joined forced to oppose any potential sell-off. 

This came after it was revealed that a private website had been set up to market the site as a potential luxury enclave called "Hampstead Gardens".

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David Castle, the H&HS planning chief, told this newspaper: "The site has always had a social use. We would not want to see it flogged so some private developer can make a profit from flats no-one wants or can afford."

He said he'd like to see the hospital trust consider holding onto the site with a view to using it for social care.

Cllr Oliver Cooper (Con, Hampstead Town) said: "It's possible that the trust is only waiting on the SALP. I objected to the size [of the potential development] and the change of use.

"I want to see the objections reflected in the published document. If finalised as it is, that's almost as good as planning permission. Camden needs to take the responses into account.

"This site can't be another block of mansion flats for the super-rich."

The Royal Free Trust chose not to add to its monthly "stakeholder update" on the issue. 

Late last year it ended its arrangement with social housing provider Newlon Housing Trust. This means it will become the landlord to the key workers living there from April. 

The trust says selling Queen Mary's House would enable it to invest in housing closer to its Pond Street site.