Radiology unit finally gets permanent status at coastal hospital

Cromer and District HospitalPhoto by Mark Bullimore

Cromer and District HospitalPhoto by Mark Bullimore

Plans to make Cromer Radiology Unit a permanent site in the town have been approved by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).

The specialised unit, which was previously open under temporary planning permission from NNDC, provides a total of 12,500 patient scans per year.

Last month the hospital, which is run by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), applied for a full planning application to retain the building after its temporary planning permission lapsed.

A spokesperson from NNUH said: "We welcome this decision, which gives permanent approval and long-term certainty for our busy MRI unit at Cromer Hospital, and enables us to maintain this important service for our patients in north Norfolk."

In the planning report, it said: "Without it [the radiology unit] there would be a significant shortfall in the provision of services provided by the facilities described above and patients would be required to travel to the trust's main site in Colney, Norwich, impacting on the capacity there."

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The temporary planning permission stated that the agreement would expire on June 30, 2015.

When permission was granted for the unit in 2005, the council stated the reason for the temporary planning permission was "to enable the local planning authority to retain control over the future development of the site".

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The radiology unit was funded by the culmination of a £2.3m project to bring new treatment and diagnostic services to Cromer.

In a planning report submitted to the council, it said: "There will be no impact in retaining the existing radiology department as it is an existing building retained for its current use.

"There will not be in any change in staff, patient or visitor numbers. The seven staff are all full time.

"Parking numbers will remain unchanged and there will be no impact on existing transport arrangements. There are no spaces within the car park specifically allocated for the radiology department."

When the planning application was accepted, the delegated officer report said: "It is recognised that without the unit, is likely that patients would have to travel a far greater distance to another regional hospital in order to access the same services.

"In this respect, it is considered that weight should be applied to the transport sustainability and community benefits of retaining the building and services within."

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