From David Moon.
IT does appear that Our Hospital has reached the last-chance saloon, with two factions supporting alternative solutions. One, promoted by Deputy Lyndon Farnham, the clinicians and Rock Construction, a monolith at Overdale which would dominate St Helier and St Aubin’s Bay and be served by a magnificent highway carved through Westmount to Cheapside at a cost which the Island cannot afford. The other by Deputies Tom Binet and Ian Gorst for a two-site solution proposed in the first place all those years ago by Deputy Ann Pryke and torpedoed by the one-site camp.
There is, of course, a third solution, if some brave States Member would have the temerity to propose it. That is to follow the advice which the Gorst government obtained at great expense from the experts who were retained to advise on the premier site of the 41 which had been identified by a group of officers. The advice which was ignored was that the Waterfront should be the preferred site for the new hospital. It was large enough to accommodate a building of the size required to house all facilities in one location, had easy central access and importantly was flat and easy to develop. This remains the case today. Then it was overruled in favour of the speculative development of offices and flats. Now there are proposals to replace the cinema, swimming pool etc with a thousand flats. Are these going to reduce the shortage of affordable housing or provide an investment opportunity for resident and non-resident investors?
Whatever the answer to that question, would it not be sensible to follow the original advice obtained at such great expense and invite tenders from construction groups with the expertise and experience in such projects to design and build Our Hospital on the Waterfront site in preference to more flats? This should not delay matters – the new hospital at St Brieuc was designed and built in nine months at a fraction of the cost being proposed for that at Overdale.
Join the discussion Email email@example.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.