Letters to the Editor: Astounded that approved scheme is again in doubt

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From Sharon Cox.

I WAS astounded to read that the new approved hospital at Overdale is now, once again, in doubt. This scheme was voted through by the previous States Assembly, it has planning permission and has been costed, with these costings also approved by the States Assembly.

Now it appears that Deputy Tom Binet, with the new Chief Minister’s backing, has carried out a review and has decided to throw out everything that was approved by our democratically elected States Assembly and has also halted the construction of 100 flats in Kensington Place. This action, by his own admission, will result in an unknown compensation sum being paid to the developer in the future.

The new proposals, which include Gloucester Street/Kensington Place which were discounted by the previous Assembly as unworkable and uneconomical, the old Les Quennevais School which was deemed beyond repair for use as a school and a smaller development at Overdale. With no plans, never mind planning permission, how can any costs be put on this new scheme?

How long would it take to get any of these proposals through planning and construction started?

The cost of working on multiple sites, and on existing outdated buildings, would increase costs hugely. There appears to be no evidence at all in the review to back up the claims that savings would be made. Ongoing staffing and running costs would undoubtedly be considerably more than having everything on one site.

Finally, the Hospital clinicians seem unanimous in their opposition to the new scheme. Existing chronic staff shortages would be exacerbated by trying to staff multiple sites and the new scheme seems to have dropped the training facility that they were promised at Overdale. This facility would have enabled new staff to be recruited, and hopefully retained to work in a new hospital, which would be of tremendous benefit to all of us.

Surely having come so far, and spent so much on getting Overdale ready to start, why contemplate a new scheme that has been produced after a 100-day review with no guarantee of planning permission, nor any firm costings?

Join the discussion Email editorial@jerseyeveningpost.com or write to The Editor, Jersey Evening Post, PO Box 582, Jersey JE4 8XQ. Letters must include full name and postal address, which will be published. They should be no longer than 400 words and may be edited.

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