Report back from the Select Committee on Science and Technology hearing on the UKCMRI
Three representatives of SPA, Natalie Bennett, Rob Inglis and Frankie Biney on Wednesday, 9 February, testified to the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology inquiry on the planned UKCMRI medical research laboratory.
Natalie said: “It was pleasing and reassuring that the members of the committee had clearly seen for themselves based on the written evidence before them the many flaws of this plan.
“They were particularly interested in the limits of the site – the fact that it has no space for expansion, and were concerned that only a limited number of the institutions that might potentially be involved had been enlisted. MPs asked about other cancer charities and research institutions joining in the scheme – and where they might fit.
“The MPs were also clearly interested when we spoke about the many disadvantages that this area suffers, and how this is the last land available to mitigate problems including lack of housing, open space and community facilities.”
Natalie added: “They were also clearly surprised by the figures – generated by local resident John Mason – about the uses to which the total floorspace is being put: that operational plant and circulation takes up 57.5% of the total floor space (24,303 sq metres), laboratories 41.9% (35,168 sq metres) and other uses 5.6% (most the public parts). It is clear that this is an industrial building being plonked down in the centre of London.
“We pointed to the warning from a council officer at the development control committee hearing that there would be ‘smells’ – just ideal for greeting passengers off the Eurostar.
“And to the fact that dealing with dangerous viruses such as flu within – literally, spitting distance of one of the major transport hubs of Europe entirely ignored the precautionary principle.”
A video of the hearing can be seen here.
Submissions made to the inquiry, including on by Camden Green Party, can be read here.
The committee is still taking submissions, and there will be a second hearing with Sir Paul Nurse, Chief Executive and Director, UKCMRI Ltd, Sir David Cooksey, Chairman, UKCMRI Ltd and John Cooper, Chief Operating Officer, UKCMRI Ltd, on Wednesday 16th February in Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, from 9.15am.