Proposals for a revised planning application for Jersey’s new hospital have been unveiled.
The revised scheme has made some significant changes to the original outline plan, answering concerns by the Independent Planning Inspector, the Environment Minister and some Islanders, about the scale of the proposed hospital and its impact on St Helier. The revisions ensure that the right hospital accommodation will still be provided, and the plans have been discussed with clinical staff, who are supportive.
Key features of the revised scheme include(view poster):
- a lower, wider footprint, significantly reducing the height, while maintaining the overall size for the whole project at 50,000 square metres
- a three-storey base, with more storeys set back from the base to a height of six storeys in the centre of the site, close to the 1980s block. This compares with the previous scheme of nine storeys
- the maximum height of the new building will be lower than the height of the existing 1980s block
- a wider basement supporting improved movement of goods within the building
- one extra half-storey to Patriotic Street Car Park, instead of two
The new plans, drawn up following the rejection of the initial outline planning application for the hospital in January, are due to be formally submitted in April. They were outlined at a presentation to all States Members on Monday 12 March and will be part of a public exhibition in St Helier running daily until Saturday 17 March (open exhibition posters).
The project remains within the £466 million approved budget and within the proposed timetable for completion of clinical services in 2024. The construction will follow a different sequence, with more positive benefits.
There will be a single contract for the construction for the sequenced project, which will eliminate the need for a temporary building to be built and dismantled, as well as avoiding the need for other temporary works. It also means that hospital departments and units will only have to move once.
This will enable parts of the new hospital to open earlier than previously planned.
The project sequence will be (view poster):
- in late 2018, work will initially focus on clearing land in Kensington Place and developing a new hospital block, including the Day Surgery, Endoscopy, Orthopaedic, ENT, Audiology, Ophthalmology, Pharmacy, Pathology and Renal departments, to be opened in early 2022
- a number of outpatient facilities (Cardiac, Respiratory, Dermatology, Physiotherapy and Clinical Investigations) will also be relocated to Westaway Court. The Pathology Laboratory will now be part of the Kensington Place development, reducing the proposed size of the Westaway Court build, providing appropriate patient parking and removing the need for a pneumatic tube link to the main hospital site under Parade Gardens
- before completion of the initial work in early 2022, the focus will widen to include the current outpatient area of the existing General Hospital site, as well replacing Peter Crill House
- the main building, which will include the Emergency Department, Radiology, Maternity, Gynaecology, Children’s, Main Theatres and Critical Care departments, as well as public and private inpatient wards above, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2024
- refurbishment of the existing Granite Block and work on other existing hospital buildings would follow, once the new hospital is open and operational
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green, said: “The Planning Inspector’s report was a catalyst for us to ensure that our revised plans not only provided a modern first-rate hospital in St Helier, which is still the right place for it, but also that we properly addressed people’s valid concerns about the size and visual impact of the building. I am delighted that the revised plans pass both tests.”
Deputy Eddie Noel, Minister for Infrastructure, said: “The project team has worked around the clock to revise the plan in the light of the Planning Inspector’s concerns and continued regular discussions with planning officers from the Department of the Environment. I believe that we now have a better project, which we can still build to time and budget and which meets modern clinical needs, but will also allay the concerns of the public about its size, appearance and impact on St Helier. I am confident this will lead to a revised application that is both acceptable in planning terms and achievable.”