Major improvements to healthcare at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey have moved a step closer after Runnymede Borough Council last week passed a resolution to approve planning permission for the redevelopment of surplus land at the hospital. The result followed on from the officer’s recommendation for approval.
The decision means that Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust can start marketing the West Site at St. Peter’s for disposal. All the revenue from the sale of the land will directly benefit the public, funding healthcare improvements and modernised keyworker accommodation. The improvements include:
- New urgent and emergency care facilities integrated with a large assessment unit delivering 21st century healthcare
- Improved mental health facilities
- A new main entrance to the hospital
- A new car park
- Modern and affordable homes on site for doctors, nurses and other keyworkers, helping the Trusts to attract and retain the best staff
- A new staff and visitor restaurant.
The application also includes proposals for new open market homes on the West Site, including family houses, smaller homes and a retirement village. The new homes, along with the keyworker accommodation, will make an important contribution to solving the borough’s housing shortage.
Runnymede Borough Council’s planning committee voted overwhelmingly in support of the application. Several councillors spoke in support of the hospital at the meeting. Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive of Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, warmly welcomed the council’s decision. She said: “I would like to thank councillors for their support of this very important application which is crucial if much-needed healthcare improvements for St. Peter’s are to be achieved. These must be wholly self-financed as there is no capital available from the NHS.”
Trust Chairman, Andy Field, added: “This is a great opportunity for the hospital Trust and will help us with much needed development to improve services for the local community and our staff, particularly in terms of increasing availability of important keyworker housing.”
The redevelopment scheme will also rationalise the hospital’s land holdings, allowing the Trusts to reduce overheads and maintenance burdens.
The council’s decision comes after 18 months’ detailed work from the Trusts’ teams which has so far included a masterplan, technical studies, and extensive consultation with the local community.
The resolution to approve the application is subject to various issues being resolved which include:
- Resolving Highways England’s concerns over traffic impacts on Junction 11 of the M25
- Appropriate contributions through a Section 106 agreement
- Negotiation on increases in affordable housing provision.
The Trusts’ teams are now working with Runnymede Borough Council on these issues.