Decision to be made on new end of life care facility next to hospital

Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which provides specialist palliative care beds in Norwich. Photo: Archant

Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which provides specialist palliative care beds in Norwich. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

The fate of a new multi-million pound end-of-life hospice next to a Norfolk hospital will be sealed today

Plans have been submitted to South Norfolk Council by Priscilla Bacon Hospice for a new location in Colney, on agricultural land close to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The plans, which would see a new hospice replace the current Priscilla Bacon Lodge on Unthank Road, are up for decision on Wednesday, with officers recommending it for approval.

The proposal sets out the layout for the project, including 24 in-patient beds, family rooms and improved day care and education facilities.

The project is expected to cost more than £12.5m, which the charity will launch a full fundraising campaign for should planning permission be granted - with a goal of completing it over the next five years.

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Blanaid Skipper, the council officer who prepared the committee report, said: 'The proposed use would contribute to the role and function of the adjacent hospital.

'This proposal would bring forward significant economic and social benefits which would override the limited environmental harm identified and would constitute sustainable development.'

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The development would see the number of Priscilla Bacon beds increased by 50pc, with the current hospice at Colman Hospital offering 16.

The report adds that the proposal would create more than 200 jobs - 91 full-time and 139 part-time vacancies, split between medical, clinical, administrative and house services.

The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich and chairman of trustees at Priscilla Bacon, said: 'The work carried out by the team at the current hospice is outstanding, but we need to build a fit for purpose facility which will serve the needs of all Norfolk's growing and ageing population.'

One public objection to the scheme was received during consultation, citing increased traffic and noise from the bypass in its concerns.

The application will go before South Norfolk Council's planning committee at 10am.

If approved, it would provide outline permission for the scheme, with fundraising and a detailed application to follow.

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