Two months after ministers admitted defeat over People’s Park as a hospital site, the States-owned Warwick Farm site has been discussed as a potential new option.
The site was shortlisted in 2012 and then ruled out over transport links and Planning issues, but after a public backlash knocked People’s Park off the list of potential sites in February, Health Minister Andrew Green has been meeting backbenchers to find a consensus on a site that could pass through the States.
St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft – whose proposition forced ministers to back down over People’s Park – says that the Warwick Farm site is one of the “obvious options” that has been mentioned.
He said: “I am expecting the Health Minister to investigate an alternative site, having lost People’s Park and I hope that he will look an an out of town one, especially if it’s not so far out of town as to make travel difficult. I understand that the main hurdle they have is the staff travel, as well as the patients.
“Warwick Farm would be one of the obvious options. It is not that far out of town, it has got good access from the other parishes by car, the footpath on Grand Route de St Jean could be improved, and bus access can be improved as well.”
The remaining options on the original shortlist include the Waterfront, Overdale, re-building on the existing site and a dual site option between Overdale and the current site.
Mr Crowcroft added that he was still against the idea of a hospital on the Waterfont, and that although the Warwick Farm site was in the Green Zone, it was a better option.
He said: “I suppose that a majority of other States Members might favour the Waterfront. I certainly do not because of the impact on Les Jardins de la Mer – there is half as much open space there as on People’s Park, and we need every square foot of open space that we have in St Helier.
“Also, the aesthetic impact would make concerns about the Radisson pale into insignificance. It will be a very large building, and it would dominate the Waterfront.
“[Warwick Farm] would be building in the Green Zone. I have consistently argued against Green Zone development but in the case of the Island’s hospital, I think that many Members like me who are against development in the Green Zone would make an exception, because it’s such an important facility.”
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If it didn't make the original shortlist (as presumably it was less favoured than those options selected) so what is the point of adding it now!
Yet another waste of money on a feasibility study that has already been done and rejected this site.