This is the new medical lab that UKCMRI are proposing to build behind the British Library (map here). We managed to glean a few extra/clearer facts from their slickly managed residents’ forum about it on Wednesday night.
1) It’s going to be enormous. The picture in no way does justice to the scale of this building. which will employ 1,200 medical researchers, with 300 support staff, and tower over the British Library and local residents’ homes.
2) It’ll turn yet another area of Somers Town into a building site for two to four years. (And will probably be taking place — if all goes according to the developing consortium’s plans — at the same time as major construction at South Camden Community School.
3) There are no plans in place to compensate residents by using another site to build the amenities or affordable housing that the area urgently needs.
UKCRMI had brought a Nobel-prize winning medical researcher along to the meeting who spoke passionately and persuasively about the value this laboratory would have in the fight against cancer.
However, it was a Somers Town resident, David Hoefling, who provided the perfect response: “Why is it local residents who are always being sacrificed for the greater good?”
His point was that these endless mega-projects fill the air with dust and noise, and leave ever fewer spaces for homes, youth facilities and parks. For London they may be a boon, but for locals they are an affliction, and after a decade of ‘regeneration’ that has done nothing for the poorest and most vulnerable people, perhaps, he suggested, it is someone else’s turn to bear the burden.
We’ll dig a little deeper into UKCRMI’s plans in subsequent posts, so check back here for a close analysis of how your life might be affected and what aspects of the project we might, with a bit of determined campaigning, be able to improve.
More on the proposed medical lab.