Dagenham day hospital 'monstrosity' erased
THE ARCHITECTS and NHS Trust behind proposals for a new day hospital branded an absolute monstrosity have refused to release the designs to the POST, writes Karen Moss. However the plans and images, which were rejected by councillors, were freely on vie
THE ARCHITECTS and NHS Trust behind proposals for a new day hospital branded an "absolute monstrosity" have refused to release the designs to the POST, writes Karen Moss.
However the plans and images, which were rejected by councillors, were freely on view by the public online at www.lbbd.gov.uk.
The modern building would have replaced the old mental health day hospital in Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, which sits next to the borough's historic Valance House.
Council planning officers stated in their report to the Development Control Board last Monday (March 1) that the impact on one of the Barking and Dagenham's best known heritage sites was considered "acceptable".
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They also told the board the improved mental health facility would benefit residents and the new design would improve the appearance of the building.
However councillors did not agree.
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Leader of the Conservatives, Cllr Terry Justice, said: "It looks like the sort of place the Gestapo used to torture prisoners.
"This is a beautiful, historic area. The building that currently stands there is a very lovely one.
"And yet we are asked to approve this absolute monstrosity to replace it.
"I think whoever designed this needs to go back to the drawing board and start again, taking into account the look and feel of the area and what's best for the patients.
"This building is nothing more than a box with windows."
Independent Cllr John Denyer, said: "I'm not saying the facilities are a bad idea, people with mental health problems deserve quality treatment.
"But this monstrosity just isn't in keeping with the tone of the area. And it would be a magnet for graffiti."
The old mental health day hospital, which has stood in Becontree Avenue since the 1920s.
A North East London Foundation Trust spokeswoman said: "We are currently considering our options."
Do you remember what the building was used for? Contact us on 0208 477 3900