Five underused plots to be redeveloped to create vibrant new health and life sciences hub in the heart of London
NHS Property Services (NHS PS) on behalf the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has submitted plans to redevelop five underused and vacant plots of land in the heart of Whitechapel to create a new life sciences cluster next to the Royal London Hospital.
The five plots of land, which are underused and contain mostly vacant buildings, cover an area equivalent to two-and-a-half football pitches.
The plans will breathe new life into these buildings, creating high-quality space which will be flexible and adaptable to a wide range of life science uses.
And the cluster will draw on Whitechapel’s diverse population to undertake more-inclusive research that reduces health inequalities.
The application will build on the existing foundations of life science activity in the area, with the proposed masterplan adjacent to the Royal London Hospital, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), and the QMB Innovation Centre.
Whitechapel is also the ideal location for such a cluster to help meet demand for life science space, being so well connected in terms of location and public transport, particularly with the Elizabeth Line due to open shortly.
These ambitious proposals will have a transformational impact on Whitechapel and are expected to create between 3,470-5,660 full-time jobs and training opportunities for local people that range across the life science sector and beyond.
An artists' impression of part of the new development
A wide variety of improvements to the roads and public spaces around the area is also proposed, making it more welcoming, easier to get around, more attractive, healthy, and safe.
And new trees, planting, and lighting will be incorporated to improve the environment, with lively ground-floor building uses adding to the vibrancy of the area and helping to improve natural security.
QMUL recently announced a property deal with DHSC for the university to take a major stake in the development and operate a new life sciences facility in one of the new buildings.
Adrian Powell, development and planning director at NHS Property Services, said: “We are delighted to be leading this project on behalf of the Department for Health and Social Care and working towards a positive decision on the planning application we have submitted to the council.
“This development represents an opportunity to create a vibrant community and commercial cluster that we hope will support a broadly-based life sciences, technology, and innovation ecosystem, providing quality jobs in the area and the best health outcomes for local people.
“The proposed improvements to the street scene and public areas will also provide a safe, green, and attractive place for locals to work, relax, and meet.”