Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Beverley Hospital receives final approval from ERYC Planning Committee

I was pleased to be one of the 10 Councillors on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Committee who this week voted through the final details for the go ahead of the new Beverley hospital. I was happy to speak in favour, and move approval for the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale.

I had reservations about the site when the original outline application came before us some months ago, I was very much aware (and still am) that this was not the best site for a new hospital, and did initially raise concerns particularly on the traffic movements along Swinemoor Road and flood risk. But having looked at the information available to members of the Committee it was clear that traffic to and from the site could be accommodated and the risk of flooding managed. I was also led to believe the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust had looked at other sites and options but for one reason or another these had to be discounted.

This meant that the Swinemoor Road Site was the application in front of the Committee and what we had to make a decision on - it was never about selection of sites – there was no choice of sites. I also knew that the funding window was narrow and a decision had to be made.

I indicated that the design may not be one of the best on paper – but design can be subjective and functionality and the impact of the visual environment have to be considered. I drew parallels with the Castle Hill Oncology unit - with which I had serious concerns about the design at the planning stage. But now constructed I feel is a fantastic design concept that incorporates functionality and stunning views ensuring a therapeutic environment for the patients being treated.

Ultimately we will see a new community hospital to the North of Beverley, with relatively easy access not just for Beverley residents but also from as far a field as Hornsea and Driffield.

There are totally different issues surrounding the downsizing of provision at Goole Hospital with which I have serious concerns. Rightly or wrongly this is in a different administrative area under the management of the North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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