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Back-up options grow if Overdale hospital plan is rejected

Back-up options grow if Overdale hospital plan is rejected

Wednesday 16 March 2022

Back-up options grow if Overdale hospital plan is rejected

Wednesday 16 March 2022


The planning policy against which the new hospital will be judged has been updated to make it easier to return to a 'dual-site option' - should an application to build it at Overdale be refused.

The Environment Minister has accepted an amendment from Senator Kristina Moore, which also aims to make it clearer that Overdale could be used for non-healthcare uses, such as housing, if the Our Hospital plan flounders.

She said: “A considerable number of representations have been made to the draft Bridging Island Plan process and it would only be right to ask the Assembly to ensure that there are alternatives available to Ministers should the Inspector find against the Our Hospital plans.

“Following the revelations of the issues regarding rehabilitative care on Plémont Ward and the Assembly’s almost unanimous decision on 19 January to re-open Samarès Ward. It is clear that a new approach to care delivery is required.

“On Thursday 3 February the Planning Committee refused permission to demolish the existing, serviceable buildings on the Overdale site, due to the policies that surround the demolition of buildings that are for purpose.

Pictured: Senator Moore believes that a dual-site option is the best solution for a new hospital in Jersey, with Gloucester Street being the main facility.

“It would appear wise for the consideration of a dual site to be undertaken at this point and for alternative uses for the Overdale site to be available for consideration should the planning application fail.

“The time has come to think about the potential solutions in a logical and cost-effective manner in order to best serve the public. 

“This amendment serves to enable that process and not bind the site to a fate of being left semi-derelict and without further purpose if the inspector find against the Our Hospital plans.”

Senator Moore, who has long been critical of the Government’s plan to build a £804m ‘health campus’ on Westmount, said she was expecting her amendment to be rejected, but was pleased that it had been accepted. 

“Either they did not want to have another debate about the site of the hospital or they are starting to see the writing on the wall after the Planning Department’s recommendation that the application is refused,” she said. 

Giving his reasons for accepting the amendment, Environment Minister John Young said that the BIP “already made adequate provisions to deal with the development of the hospital on an existing healthcare site or sites.”

However, he said that an addition to one sentence in the policy, proposed by Senator Moore, was a “helpful addition”.

Part of the key Our Hospital policy now reads: “Proposals for the alternative use of land designated as part of the ‘Our Hospital development site’ will not be supported except where it can be demonstrated that the site, or any part of it, is no longer required to support the delivery of Our Hospital" [italics refer to Senator Moore's additional wording].

Senator Moore said this would prevent Overdale being “empty and locked down” should the Our Hospital plan not proceed.

The Scrutiny head’s personal preference is for a new hospital to be built at its current site in Gloucester Street with rehabilitation services and a mental health unit being based at Overdale. 

A dual-site option, with healthcare facilities split between Gloucester Street and Overdale, was the Government’s preferred option in 2013, but this was later changed to a single-site preference, first at the People’s Park, then Gloucester Street and now Overdale.

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POD: Minister 'disappointed' hospital advice may not have been followed


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Comments

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Posted by IanSmith97 on
And then the people who don’t want it in option B will demand it goes somewhere else, option C. Those who disagree with option C or live near option C will demand it goes to option D and so on until we all disappear down the vortex of despair. Never in all my life have I seen such an abysmal escapade as this new hospital farce. I suppose this is what we get with the amateurs who run this place. Pathetic incompetence doesn’t begin to describe their performance. If they were doing this in an employment scenario they would be fired. If they did it with their own businesses they would be bankrupt.
Posted by Jon Jon on
The simple outcome right from the start with this hospital was to build on agricultural land,then once built demolish overdale and build housing on that site.So simple but our politicians just carry on wasting tens of millions on the wrong site.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
What a waste of everyone's time and OUR money.
Just get on and BUILD the new hospital. We have had too much delay already.
Posted by Diana Groom on
The comment above by IanSmith97 is totally spot on. The amateurish incompetence of some members of our CoM is absolutely astounding. Please people ..... take great care who you vote for at the next election.
Posted by David Moon on
Jon Jon is correct. The iniatal mistake was to have a group of civil servants to come up with a site and they came up with 41 and the Gorst government ignoring the advice of professional company who was instructed to review and appraise these sites which came out in favour of the waterfront which the Gorst government used for speculative property development for offices for which there was not demand and for expensive flats for investors. A greenfield site in the centre of the Island should have been the obvious choice. Let’s hope the next election will produce pragmatic leaders with vision and respect for the heritage of the Island and our way of life who will take the decisions rather than being led by civil servants who should be implementing the policies of the States not formulating them. Otherwise what is the point of elections.
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