WRITE TO THE GUY'S AND ST THOMAS' FOUNDATION
The Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation is a £1billion health charity. Yet it has reneged on commitments to negotiate a lease extension even though it can't develop the site for at least a year, forcing out other charities and small businesses over Christmas.
We need the Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation to act!
Please use (or adapt) the template below to write to
the Chair of Trustees to ask them to honour their commitments. PLEASE INCLUDE THE P.S!
You can use or amend this wording for your email to the Chair of Trustees of the
£1billion Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation
P.S. Don't forget to include the P.S as part of your email!
Email address for the Chair of Trustees:
Subject of email:
Please extend the Old Paradise Yard lease now
Text of email:
Dear Ms Given
To ease the passage of the Royal Street Planning Application, the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation (GSTTF) made commitments about extending the lease for Old Paradise Yard (OPY). I’ve heard that GSTTF is now reneging. Please immediately extend the lease for an interim period and enter negotiations about a more formal extension.
It was always known that the latest OPY lease would expire in January 2024 but GSTTF told Lambeth and the Mayor of London that you (GSTTF) would negotiate an extension if the development was delayed (as you did in 2019 for OPY and twice for the adjacent Oasis Farm: extending leases is common practice). You are now breaching that commitment. You also told Lambeth and the Mayor that you would offer OPY tenants space in the new development. However, the section 106 agreement that you will have to sign only does that for OPY tenants at the time of signature. By evicting them now, you are making a mockery of that commitment.
The Oasis Farm's latest lease was due to expire in July but GSTTF did not force the Farm to close. Instead, you extended the lease. Oasis Farm recently advertised for a Farm Events Manager on a 12 months contract, so they clearly expect to remain on site for at least a year. Oasis are an admirable organisation but it is a matter of record that they support your proposed development.
At the same time as the Oasis Farm’s lease was due to end, you were promising to negotiate about extending the OPY lease. However, GSTTF never engaged in the promised negotiations. After ignoring requests to open negotiations on an extension for several months, GSTTF dropped the bombshell in a meeting on 25 October that you are now refusing to extend the lease or to negotiate about it at all. Some (but not all) OPY tenants have exercised their democratic right to campaign for a more sustainable version of the development proposed by Lambeth's Planning Dept in January 2022.
GSTTF have admitted privately that the difference in treatment between the Oasis Farm and OPY tenants is punishment for the campaign. However much you now deny that officially, GSTTF said what they said!
You issued a public statement on 9 November that the campaigners have called a masterpiece of distraction, dissembling and downright deception. Those are srong words but the campaigners say they have assembled a detailed body of documentary evidence that supports their claim. They have also issued a detailed refutation of your statement.
GSTTF's unconscionable behaviour means that charities and small businesses are being forced out over Christmas and facing financial ruin.
Please reconsider, grant a short-term extension to the OPY tenants without delay and open negotiations over an extension until the proposed development can proceed.
Sign-off: please include your name and your postcode, especially if you are in Lambeth
P.S. GSTTF often respond to concerns by copying and pasting alleged benefits of your proposed development or your 9 November statement. If you do choose to respond to me, what I really want to know is (a) why GSTTF reneged on your commitments to negotiate an extension, (b) how you justify the difference in treatment between Oasis Farm and OPY and (c) how it better supports GSTTF’s charitable objectives for OPY tenants to leave now rather than remaining onsite for a further 12-18 months.