New medical hub approved at former St George’s Hospital site.

  • Major Glass and Glazing

After years of hard work and following a lengthy two hour meeting at last week’s meeting of the Council’s Strategic Planning Committee members unanimously approved the planning application for a new medical hub on the former St George’s Hospital site. 
Following a decision by the NHS that the former St George’s Hospital site was surplus to their requirements, the NHS sold the site to Bellway Homes for a residential development, though it retained 15% of the land for a new medical facility The new hub will provide a whole range of services including 
1. Primary Care GP services.

2. Minor surgeries

3. A range of diagnostic services such as MRI & CT scans, x-rays, blood tests

4. Renal dialysis and Frailty services following their relocation from Queen’s Hospital.5. Mental health and other community services such as speech and language therapy

6. Early cancer diagnostic unit.

Hornchurch Residents Association Councillors have worked with the Project Director of the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) to try to overcome some of the concerns raised by local residents during the public consultation exercise. This also included arranging a local meeting with NELFT and residents of Hacton Drive and Suttons Lane who would be directly impacted by the proposed hub, in order that they could air their views.

Councillor Ray Morgon told the Havering Daily:”I always take the view that in many cases you will not be able to stop a development (and in this case I am supportive of the new facility for the local and wider community) so the best thing to do is to work with the developer to try to make things the best that they can be and to minimise any negative impact on the local area and their residents. We did this with the Bellway site too. We were actively working with NELFT right up until a few days before the Planning Officer’s report was produced for the SPC. Even on the day of the meeting, there was a late adjustment to try to minimise noise intrusion. There is still further work to do on highways, parking and bus service issues.”

Councillor Ray Morgon als added: “Although NELFT have made some adjustments to try to overcome some of the concerns, until the site is operational, we do not know the full impact. On the night that the SPC heard the application, I spoke at the meeting (as did Councillor Reg Whitney as a Member of the SPC) and asked for a condition to be added to any planning approval to the effect that if there is any noise nuisance, pollution, light spillage, flooding, vibration or smells from the site that NELFT be forced to resolve these problems at their cost. Sadly, the senior Council Officer felt it was more appropriate to rely on legislation to deal with any such problems. I am not sure how flooding would be dealt with by legislation and using the legislative route often takes a considerable amount of time and resource. Is it not better to try to pre-empt what may happen and plan accordingly”

One of the key issues that was bought up on the night was the limited number of parking spaces (110) and whether this would be sufficient. Transport for London has a totally different view and considers this level to be far too high, whilst at the same time considers the provision for cycling far too low.

Councillor Reg Whitney told the Havering Daily: “I am deeply concerned that with this and other developments we do not provide enough parking provision in Havering and have asked our Council Officers to challenge both the Mayor of London and the GLA to ensure that appropriate levels of parking are provided. It is not always possible to travel by public transport, walk or cycle to your intended destination.”

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