'Don't bring up old arguments on hospital', say planners

Friday 22nd October 2021 9:00 am
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The submission of a planning application for a potential new Forest hospital should not be used to revive old arguments about the closure of Lydney and The Dilke hospitals and decision to build in Cinderford, say planners.

In an unusual move, the Forest Council has put a note on its planning website explicitly stating that it cannot consider wider questions about hospitals or health services in the district.

The Gloucestershire Health and Care Trust submitted the application to the council on Tuesday October 12.

The application is for the development of site - at the playing field in Steam Mills Road, Cinderford - including removal of the existing skate park, providing a new community hospital and ancillary building with infrastructure works including a revised site access, parking, landscaping, site re-profiling and drainage works.

The note on the council website states: "The Council have received a planning application for the building of a new hospital in Cinderford (P1734/21/FUL).

"We are aware that the proposal has generated significant levels of public interest across the district, much of which relates to where any new hospital should go and the future of Lydney and Dilke Hospitals.

Residents are welcome to comment on the application as part of the planning process, however, it is important to understand that as part of this legal process the Council can only consider the specific request to build a hospital on the proposed site, not any wider issues about hospitals and health services in the district.

"The Council cannot take into consideration any comments on why a new hospital is to be provided, the decision to seek a site in Cinderford, its size and facilities and the future of the existing hospitals within the district; as these are matters that fall outside the remit of the planning system."

It suggests anyone wanting to comment on these types of issues should contact the health trust.

People have until Friday, November 5 to comment on the application and the council aims to make a decision by Wednesday, January 12.

In a planning statement by the health trust’s agents, Avison Young, the proposal is described as "a high quality and robust development proposal which will provide services and facilities to serve the local community and improve upon existing provision."

The submission of a planning application for a potential new Forest hospital should not be used to revive old arguments about the closure of Lydney and The Dilke hospitals and decision to build in Cinderford, say planners.

In an unusual move, the Forest Council has put a note on its planning website explicitly stating that it cannot consider wider questions about hospitals or health services in the district.

The Gloucestershire Health and Care Trust submitted the application to the council on Tuesday October 12.

The application is for the development of site - at the playing field in Steam Mills Road, Cinderford - including removal of the existing skate park, providing a new community hospital and ancillary building with infrastructure works including a revised site access, parking, landscaping, site re-profiling and drainage works.

The note on the council website states: "The Council have received a planning application for the building of a new hospital in Cinderford (P1734/21/FUL).

"We are aware that the proposal has generated significant levels of public interest across the district, much of which relates to where any new hospital should go and the future of Lydney and Dilke Hospitals.

Residents are welcome to comment on the application as part of the planning process, however, it is important to understand that as part of this legal process the Council can only consider the specific request to build a hospital on the proposed site, not any wider issues about hospitals and health services in the district.

"The Council cannot take into consideration any comments on why a new hospital is to be provided, the decision to seek a site in Cinderford, its size and facilities and the future of the existing hospitals within the district; as these are matters that fall outside the remit of the planning system."

It suggests anyone wanting to comment on these types of issues should contact the health trust.

People have until Friday, November 5 to comment on the application and the council aims to make a decision by Wednesday, January 12.

In a planning statement by the health trust’s agents, Avison Young, the proposal is described as "a high quality and robust development proposal which will provide services and facilities to serve the local community and improve upon existing provision."

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