The potential sites for the new hospital have been whittled down to two.
Express revealed this morning that only Overdale and the People’s Park remain as possible locations.
That has now been confirmed by the Government, which said in a statement released shortly after 13:00 that the final two will now undergo "further technical and financial assessments to determine which will go forward as the preferred site for a States debate in the autumn."
It added that the decision was taken following assessments looking at "clinical suitability, location, environmental, economic and social impact", which were conducted using "criteria formed by working with the Our Hospital Citizens' Panel, medical professionals and from the feedback from island-wide public consultation."
The news means that Millbrook Playing Fields, First Tower Park and a cluster of buildings and fields near Five Oaks will no longer be considered.
Pictured: Millbrook Playing Fields, the current site of the Nightingale Hospital facility, are now off the cards.
States Members had already been asked to remove Millbrook Playing Fields from the shortlist by St Lawrence Constable Deirdre Mezbourian.
Before that list was even published, St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft formally asked the States to remove the People’s Park and First Tower Park from the selection process.
Then residents of the Five Oaks area started a campaign to get the site thrown off the shortlist after it was quietly expanded to include more private properties.
Pictured: A leaflet produced by a Five Oaks campaign group.
Despite being a finalist, the People’s Park has already been rejected as a possible site following a States Assembly vote last year.
Overdale, meanwhile, has long been rumoured to be the Chief Minister's preferred site. His former Assistant Chief Minister, Constable Chris Taylor, who was part of a future hospital political group, made the case for the site to Express in January last year.
Video: Former Assistant Chief Minister Constable Chris Taylor making the case for Overdale.
Announcing the final two sites today, Deputy Hugh Raymond, Vice-Chair of the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group, commented: “We have consistently followed the evidence-based process put in place and remain on schedule for a States debate in the autumn to agree a location for our new hospital.”
St. Saviour representatives, who had been vocal in their opposition to the Five Oaks site, shared their relief at the decision on social media.
Constable Sadie Rennard simply wrote on Facebook: "FIVE OAKS IS OFF THE SHORT LIST X."
Deputy Jess Perchard tweeted: "Relieved that Five Oaks has been removed for the hospital site shortlist. Excellent engagement from the community on this issue and am delighted that their voices have been heard."
Relieved that Five Oaks has been removed for the hospital site shortlist. Excellent engagement from the community on this issue and am delighted that their voices have been heard.— JessPerchard (@JessePerchard) September 4, 2020
St. Lawrence Deputy Kirsten Morel said it was "good to see that Millbrook is no longer an option."
Minister for Children and Housing Senator Sam Mézec, meanwhile, suggested that one of the remaining sites was still a "no hoper."
While he didn't say which one he was referring to, the Minister has previously been vocal in his opposition to People's Park.
That three “no hoper” sites have been taken off the hospital shortlist is to be welcomed.— Senator Sam Mézec (@SamMezecJsy) September 4, 2020
That one “no hoper” site remains on it and continues to have us waste time and money entertaining the idea is to be very unwelcomed.
Senator Mézec later retweeted a post from Lyndsay Feltham - Chair of his party, Reform Jersey - who said: "It makes absolutely no sense to have a shortlist of two which includes a site which the States Assembly has already voted to take off the table.
"It’s an affront to democracy to ignore the decision made by our elected representatives last year."
The announcement comes after a panel of politicians announced a probe into the "fairness" of the hospital site selection process earlier this week.
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