Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Optivo have submitted a planning application to Runnymede Borough Council for the redevelopment of surplus land at St Peter's Healthcare campus in Chertsey, Surrey. The application includes plans for affordable housing for NHS staff; open-market housing; a multi-storey car park; and an extension to St Peter's main reception to provide an improved customer café and retail offering.
The plans largely focus on surplus land on the western part of the campus. The intention is to secure permission for the redevelopment of the land for housing and sell it to directly fund improved local healthcare facilities and enable improvements to staff accommodation which will help the hospital attract and retain staff.
The money raised would:
- Provide a new Accident & Emergency unit within an extended Prince Edward Wing at St Peter's Hospital
- Provide significant funding towards refurbishing and redeveloping mental health hospital and community services which serve people in north west, mid and east Surrey.
- The new housing will also provide much-needed homes in a borough which has a significant shortage of affordable housing and housing land.
The planning application is a 'hybrid' application, comprising applications for both outline and full planning permission. The outline application is for:
- 328 open-market homes, consisting of a retirement village and a mix of apartments and houses, on the west site
- 144 new and redeveloped affordable homes, primarily for NHS staff, 72 of which would be on the west site, and 72 on the eastern part of the campus
- Two new, separate access roads for the west site from Holloway Hill and Stoneleigh Road to the north west.
The full application is for:
- The new multi-storey car park - this will improve patient access to the main entrance and replace spaces lost through the redevelopment of the west site
- The extension to the main hospital reception area which will link to the new car park and will improve the entrance and waiting areas for patients and visitors.
Local Plan policies designate St Peter's Healthcare Campus as a 'major developed site' in the green belt. National and local planning policy demand that very special circumstances justify development in the green belt. The Trusts consider that these very special circumstances exist and include the overwhelming need for investment in St Peter's Hospital to accommodate population growth in north west Surrey and the need to provide on-site housing for staff.
Valerie Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive at Ashford and St Peter's NHS Foundation Trust, said: ""We are very pleased about this latest stage in proceedings. This opportunity signals our commitment to improve the facilities in which we provide care to our local population. The resources will be used to improve a number of important facilities in our hospital, particularly for those people who arrive here in an emergency. We are also particularly pleased that this development will enable us to offer better quality staff accommodation, which is vital for recruitment and retention. The redevelopment will also provide much needed new homes in Runnymede, an area with a housing shortage."
Jo Young, Chief Nursing Officer at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: We want people to experience our services in surroundings that are modern, safe and accessible. The capital we raise from the St Peter's development will go straight back into providing welcoming environments to those living in Runnymede and the other boroughs that we serve.
"We know that access to suitable accommodation is key to people's mental wellbeing, so we are really pleased that the development includes affordable housing. It will give those local people who might otherwise be left feeling isolated an opportunity to connect with their local community."