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Planning permission for Jersey's new hospital refused – again

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PLANS for Jersey's new hospital have been rejected – for a second time.

Artist's illustration of how the new hospital might look

Environment Minister John Young has refused to grant planning permission after receiving a report from UK independent planning inspector Philip Staddon, who held a public inquiry last year.

It is almost a year to the day since the initial application was rejected by the then-Environment Minister Steve Luce, after receiving a report from Mr Staddon, who raised concerns about the size and scale of the proposed building.

The plans were later remodelled before Mr Staddon carried out his latest review.

The inspector’s report recommended that the planning application be refused unless the minister considers that public interest in building the new hospital outweighs the proposed development’s inconsistencies with the Island Plan, which sets planning policy.

Mr Staddon set out three areas for refusal:

  • Design, townscape and visual impacts: The proposal would result in a building that would be too large for this restricted site.
  • Residential amenity: The development would lead to unreasonable harm to the residential amenities and living conditions of neighbouring residential properties.
  • Heritage: The proposed main hospital development would not preserve or enhance the settings of numerous heritage assets.

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Deputy Young said: 'This has been a very challenging decision and I have reluctantly refused this application. As concluded by the inspector, I believe this application site is not quite large enough to comfortably accommodate the proposed scheme. A different application may overcome these issues.'

Last year the hospital review board, chaired by Assistant Chief Minister Chris Taylor, recommended putting alternative sites to the States.

The majority of the panel concluded that they were ‘not assured’ that the evidence supported the current plan of building the new hospital on the existing site, the cost of which has been estimated at £466 million. They said that the Waterfront and Overdale options should be revisited.

Separately, a French firm has recently said it could build a new hospital on a greenfield site for less than a fifth of the current estimated costs.

Richard Heath

By Richard Heath
author

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