By James Mayer, Local Democracy Reporter
St George’s Hospital has been slammed for acting “above the law” after it began building works without permission.
The plans for a three-storey temporary hospital office were submitted in March, but building work began before planning permission was given.
Planning chiefs at Wandsworth council accused the trust of acting like it had a “get out of jail free card” and that it had began other building works without permission in the past.
Labour councillor Peter Carpenter told the planning meeting: “My concern about this is we had a similar one a few months ago, where [St George’s] seemed to start work before it came to planning.
“I think we need to give a message to St George’s that planning applications do actually apply to them, they seem to think they’re above the law.
“I was personally minded to vote against it to make that point.”
Labour colleague Cllr Graham Loveland added: “I get the fact of the demands of the hospital, but essentially they have a get out of jail free card here.”
But the hospital in Tooting said planners were aware at all times of the development and the trust followed special Covid laws that allowed building work to start early.
A St George’s spokeswoman said: “St George’s followed emergency planning legislation brought in by the Government to allow Covid-19 pandemic response building works to commence.
“Wandsworth council planners were aware and consulted at all times and the trust sought to obtain full planning consent well before the emergency legislation expires.”
The development was unanimously approved by councillors.
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