Diary of a Sutton Councillor

St Helier Hospital gets Planning Approval

The Development Control Committee last night gave outline planning approval for the refurbishment of St Helier Hospital.

 The Epsom & St Helier NHS Trust had submitted an application for a new, larger building replacing the existing Ferguson House, and a multi-storey car park to make up for the loss of surface car parking space.

The new building will provide modern hospital wards with a number of single rooms to replace the existing, outdated ward accommodation in the main hospital. It will also house a new outpatient department and an Opthalmology department.

In addition the development will include a new Local Care Centre incorporating a local GP surgery, X-ray, ultrasound and ECG, audiology, mental health facilities and occupational therapy services; all part of the Better Healthcare Closer to Home programme of health improvements for the area.

The main concern of committee members was around the proposed traffic scheme to manage the changes to the entrance to the facilities and how the trust proposed to manage staff and patient parking.

Councillor Dave Callaghan, Ward Councillor for St Helier, spoke passionately about the difficulties local residents experienced on a daily basis competing for parking space in residential roads with hospital staff. Whilst Cllr. Callaghan welcomed the improvements to the hospital, he was concerned that an opportunity to improve the situation for residents and staff was not being grasped.

 The committee was clear that it would like to see these issues addressed more comprehensively when the detailed plans came back for full planning consent.

With this proviso and an additional condition attached to the application, members voted the application through.

The application now has to receive the approval of the Greater London Authority (GLA) under the rules governing major developments in the London region.

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March 11, 2010 - Posted by | Committee Meeting, Information

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