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Southside replacement to go ahead

Jan 27 2005 21:27
Nichola Hawkins
In the Rector's talk to students this lunchtime, he announced that the College have secured planning permission for the Prince's Gardens redevelopment.
Artist's Impression of the New Buildings

With increasing problems in recent years, Imperial's Southside Hall has become notorious as the College spoke of plans to replace it, describing it as "significantly flawed and beyond its useful life" and voicing concerns that it could not comply with new disabilities legislation.

Last summer, it was announced that the hall would be closed at he end of this year.

A significant step forward came in September, when English Heritage informed College's Estates department that they would not object to the demolition of Southside, Listed as an example of 1960's architecture, since the proposed new development were of a more "appropriate scale, height, form and design which will enhance the setting of the adjacent listed terraces and the character and appearance of the Knightsbridge conservation area."

However, with over 300 objections from neighbours and elections this year, it was feared that Westminster city Council would refuse planning permission, and students living in that constituency were asked to write in support of the application.

The Union noted this request, but so far the response had been limited, and so the announcement that the proposal has now been accepted came as a surprise to many.

The new development will provide 349 more beds, in spite of being reduced to the height of the surrounding buildings: this is to be achieved in part by a more efficient circulation system, with significantly less space taken up by corridors and staircases, although the gym and tennis courts will be lost. Work on Southside will start this July, and is expected to be completed by October 2007. College then plan to replace Linsted, having decided against replacing both at once, in spite of some savings during the building work, since they would not be able to meet their first year accommodation guarantee with both halls out of use at once.

Sam Rorke, ICU Deputy President (Education and Welfare), said, "The Union is optimistic about the current status of the planning application, although certain formalities remain to be completed. This is an exciting project, and its success is very important for our students, as the current residence has reached the end of its useful life."

The new buildings aim to be more in keeping with the height and form of the surrounding terraces, whilst still being "unmistakably modern" in design. The new buildings will also include the health centre with dental practice, a cr?che, convenience shop, and (perhaps of greatest interest to some students) a "licensed caf?".

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Discussion about “Southside replacement to go ahead”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. duh   
Jan 28 2005 00:41

What's with the number of typos? Don't you people use spell-checkers?

As for Southside, it's about time!!!

2. TC   
Jan 28 2005 01:21

No, not Linstead! Fabled home of those great dinners! When they replace Linstead they won't be replacing our bar :( Gits....Also what will happen about provision of medical care and the tooth hacking that is currently in Southside?

Jan 28 2005 08:44

The health centre is rumoured to be placed on the Tennis courts in a temporary setup of buildings.

4. Jon   
Jan 28 2005 12:30

Licensed Caf?... Better learn to make coffee then! Anyone ever been in a caf? which serves real ale?

5. tom t   
Jan 28 2005 17:22


They are frightful. They refuse, even when you explicitly tell them, to not carry out work on your teeth. They are completely crooked, have a huge turnover (of dentists), and as my second opinion NHS dentists said, 'have done as much work at maximum profit as they possibly could have' on my teeth.

Good riddance.

Get some real dentists in who are there to prolong and protect your teeth, not needlessly drill them for those extra few quids...

Jan 29 2005 13:11

Bring back Basics Pizzeria!

Jan 29 2005 18:48

Actually I agree with the dentistry comment, my dentist at home said the woman who treated me should frankly be struck off after he saw the work she had done, especially as she had put different fillings in than she had PROMISED to put in, and wouldn't stop when asked. Seriously, do many people have this problem? Perhaps we should look into this?

8. aha   
Jan 29 2005 19:39

I agree entirely with the comments regarding the quality of IC health centre dental "work". Having graduated a couple of years ago I am _still_ in the process of rectifying the damage they caused, this time with a BUPA dentist (who was not at all amused when she saw what I had done to my teeth by IC dentists only a year before). Although I am approaching my third thousand pounds of bills, I do not regret it, as the work I had done while at Imperial was causing me constant discomfort. My advice of plain and simple: don't go there - it will cost you time, money and more pain to get fixed after you leave.

9. tom t   
Jan 31 2005 17:14

well i don't know about the Staff Student protocol on this one, but it seems I'm not the only one with a mouth full of clanking metal and one x-ray too many.

I would strongly suggest that this issue is looked into - but where do we start? THe confidential advice service in the health centre??? Does anyone have any ideas?

Maybe we could set up an online survey asking people anonymously for their views.

The dentist quality is abysmal by many accounts and maybe it's time to act.


10. Anon   
Feb 01 2005 00:20

> does anyone have any ideas

TNDT for President!

Feb 01 2005 10:34

Staff-Student Protocol refers to the Union's responsibility towards its own employees, nothing to do with the Union's rights (and nideed obligations) to represent students where College staff are not serving them as well as they should be (if indeed they are even directly employed by College rather than the NHS?)

Taken from the [NHS Website|]

"If you wish to make a complaint about the care or service provided by your dentist or dental practice, contact the person responsible for the practice complaints procedure.

You may make the complaint orally or in writing and you should receive a response from the practice within ten working days.

Your dentist will try to resolve your complaint at this stage. If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you should direct complaints to the Healthcare Commission. "

12. Simon   
Feb 02 2005 09:21

When I wanted to see a dentist towards the end of last year, I went to the IC dental practice for the first time. I asked to speak to a dentist to discuss my situation before I booked an appointment, but the receptionist wouldn't let me! I ended up arguing with her over this, and just walked out.

Thank goodness I did, based on your comments here!

Feb 02 2005 09:49

I've never used the College dentists. Does anyone have anything good to say about them?

Feb 02 2005 10:08

At least they are there...

Feb 04 2005 16:51

My boyfriend went to see the dentist and they asked him to go back, should he be worried? He's very scared of the dentist anyway and i don't want to cause any unneccessary worries.

Feb 07 2005 10:58

Page 53 in today's Times, "Notebook: Architecture". Nice picture of Southside. And then the article...

Feb 14 2005 13:33

Southside described as a fine piece of heroic architecture

Feb 14 2005 13:52

that guy obviously never had to live there. "Heroic architecture" he never tried moving stuff in and out of the spiral staircases, not the easiest for sofas I can tell you

20. Steve   
Feb 14 2005 16:47

I used to live in FK (5 years ago) and it wasn't in the best state then.

As far as I'm concerned there are better buildings around that illustrate the style in much better ways. I don't really see why Southside should be kept.

The National Theatre on the South Bank has many similar features but is a much nicer building.

Feb 14 2005 17:35

too true. It wasn't exactly shining three years ago.

22. H@t   
Feb 15 2005 18:18

Southside was meant to close in Summer '00. As such college stopped doing much maintenance (hey, why fix something you are going to knock down? it is actually a sound economic argument) unfortunatly i think this left them behind when they carried on keeping it open.... and as it was a continual plan/dream to shut it, there would have been little encouragement to do much to it.

Southside was much better in 99/00/00/01 than much hals i have seen else where in the country. And indeed than a lot of the private accomodation I have looked around. Sure, it wasn't as well kept as mum and dad's house, but then as i say above house owners dont tend to intend to gut/knock down their house next year.

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