Decision day over £9m revamp for Norwich hospital

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:41 14 February 2019

An illustrative view looking north from Bowthorpe Road towards the proposed new hospital. Photo: GL Hearn

An illustrative view looking north from Bowthorpe Road towards the proposed new hospital. Photo: GL Hearn

GL Hearn

A decision will be made today (Thursday, February 14) over whether a £9m hospital revamp can go ahead.

Norwich Community Hospital in Bowthorpe Road. 
PHOTO: Nick ButcherNorwich Community Hospital in Bowthorpe Road. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Members of Norwich City Council’s planning committee will discuss whether to give the go-ahead for the transformation of the Norwich Community Hospital site, off Bowthorpe Road.

City Hall officers are recommending that outline permission for Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust’s scheme be granted.

Some existing buildings would be knocked down and replaced with a new hospital, alongside a new care home, care units and worker accommodation. The Mulberry Unit would be retained.

But, if permission is granted, then concerns over ground stability mean the trust is likely to need to provide further information to the council as various phases of the scheme progress.

People living in Merton Road, to the east of the site, were among objectors. They said many properties in the area sit above unmapped and unstable chalk tunnels - and expressed fears vibrations from work could cause a collapse.

Council officers say geo-technical assessments have been submitted and further surveys, investigations and testing would be needed before work started on parts of the site.

Officers said: “The approach is to ensure risks to neighbouring properties and the hospital complex are maintained at the lowest possible level.

“The information obtained from these investigations should help enable safe and durable mitigation works to be undertaken in order to stabilise the north eastern part of the hospital site and Merton Road in order to ensure long term ground stability.”

Officers added: “A grant of planning permission will give some certainty to the acceptance of redevelopment principles and enable the applicant to seek the allocation of funds to bring forward a final scheme.”

Paul Cracknell, the trust’s deputy chief executive, previously outlined the revamp’s benefits.

He said: “If approved, the redevelopment of our site will enable us to develop a new health campus that will be fit for purpose, which will include a modern and purpose-built community hospital, as well as a number of associated new health and care facilities.”

The meeting is at City Hall at 9.30am.

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