When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
What's more important, bricks or people? ask hospital campaigners
A CHRISTCHURCH residents’ association has hit out at critics of the hospital plans, urging people to back the scheme or face losing their valued services.
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Trust have resubmitted plans for Christchurch Hospital after members of the planning committee at Christchurch council refused the £10million proposals earlier this year.
The scheme included the demolition of the historic H Block and G Block – former workhouse infirmaries – as well as proposals to build an 80-bed care home, 36 senior living apartments and 81 keyworker flats.
But now, due to concerns about the bulk and mass of the buildings, the hospital has revised the plans, reducing the number of keyworker flats to 78 and altering the design and features of the buildings set to replace the former workhouse infirmary.
However, local historians are still unhappy with the proposals, continuing to question why H Block has to be removed, despite the hospital’s director of service development, Richard Renaut, saying the building is unfit for healthcare use.
Jim Biggin, chairman of West Christchurch Residents Association said: “We are at a loss to understand how anybody can view the retention of bricks and mortar as more important than the provision of medical facilities for local people.
“We view the proposed enhancement of hospital services combined with the relocation of the GP practice, the key worker housing, the senior living apartments and the nursing home as entirely beneficial to all of Christchurch.
“We believe that without such progress the hospital will eventually close and the Macmillan Unit will thus also be forced to relocate. This will force local residents into awkward and inconvenient trips to Bourne-mouth or even Poole.
“In our view the ongoing provision of local hospital facilities to the people of Christchurch far outweighs more parochial considerations such as the misguided attempts to preserve an empty, unlisted building of questionable architectural merit.”
Should the plans not be approved on March 14, funding for the GP surgery proposed for the site, will be lost, the Trust says.