by Richard Glover, Head of Major Projects – Planning, Department for Infrastructure
If you’ve not had a chance to attend one of our drop-in sessions about the Future Hospital, our next series of blogs will fill you in with all the latest developments. This one looks at planning, the second at how we’ll ensure excellent patient care as we commence with building work and the third blog will give you more information about infrastructure, including roads and parking surrounding the new hospital.
After a time of reflection and reconsideration, the Council of Ministers has confirmed that the preferred site for the Future Hospital is a development on the existing site where the Gwyneth Huelin building currently is.
What’s going to happen next?
The States are expected to debate the site this November and, if agreed, we will then begin to develop a plan made in close partnership with hospital staff and patient groups.
This plan will form an outline planning application in 2017 to establish the principle of the build. Once the build has been agreed in principle by the States and by Planning, there will be further work with staff and patient groups to establish a more detailed design for the hospital. This full, detailed plan will then be subject to States debate, and if it receives their approval, it will then be submitted to Planning for review. If everyone is happy with it, building will start in 2019.
What will Planning be looking for in the application?
There are a number of criteria that a successful application needs to demonstrate. The hospital is incredibly important for the future of Jersey, and getting on with it is everyone’s priority – at the same time though, the application needs to clearly and successfully show how the building will meet the same high standards rightly expected from any development.
To make sure this happens, the application will need to:
- Make the case for the hospital. Almost everyone agrees on why Jersey needs a new hospital, but the application will need to go beyond this to show why the proposed size and layout of the building are needed. Our plan will look to answer not just Jersey’s current health needs but also our needs for decades to come.
- Show how the new hospital will integrate with its surroundings. This includes making sure the building fits in with the general ‘look’ of the surrounding area and the height of buildings nearby. The Future Hospital doesn’t just need to be in-keeping visually though, it also needs to fit in well with the surrounding infrastructure including car parks and roads.
For example, the development will probably include bridges from Patriotic Street Car Park directly into the hospital – there will also be improved parking generally and dedicated drop off areas. Building the hospital will also be a great opportunity to tackle challenges that we see in the current set-up, such as the issues for pedestrians on Gloucester Street. All of this will be explored in more depth in a future blog on infrastructure.
- Show how the hospital will fit in with Future St Helier. Planning will want to know how the Future Hospital will fit in with, or enhance, St Helier’s identity and community, travel and transport and urban living in line with the principles of the Future St Helier programme.
- Meet high environmental standards. The Future Hospital design will need to meet excellent environmental standards. This will include looking at energy efficiency, the materials used to build the hospital, waste management and carbon impact.
- Demonstrate public and stakeholder engagement. The public has been engaged with at each key stage of the Future Hospital development, and the application will need to evidence continued engagement as the more detailed plan is developed. In particular, planning will be looking for close engagement with hospital staff, patient groups and the general public.
- Make provisions for any surrounding businesses and homes affected by the build. The new design will require the use of land which currently belongs to surrounding businesses and homeowners. Everyone who is affected will be given the support they need to find alternative accommodation. The Future Hospital team will also work closely with residents and businesses nearby to understand their concerns and minimise disruption.
As you can see, the Future Hospital will need to meet a lot of high standards – and rightly so. By working together, I’m certain we’ll make a plan that works well for Jersey both now and in the future.
We will keep you posted as we go into the next stage of public consultation, following the States debate in November. Until then, be sure to stay tuned for the upcoming blogs!
Click here to view the Future Hospital drop-in presentation.