Paula Savage our Milton campaigner has today launched a petition to the city council over the redevelopment of St James hospital and grounds. It’s clear from the plans submitted to the city council that protected trees will be felled, there are is no affordable housing on site and the designs are poor with no renewable energy included.
Paula said: “Here we have the opportunity to do something better on a site purchased and built by the community, for the community by re-using the hospital for community infrastructure including Health Care, Elderly and Dementia-Care, a GP Surgery and Pharmacy and Affordable Housing. The proposed plan has too many houses too close to the main building which has statutory protections enacted by Parliament.”
“The houses are Lego-style boxes out of tune with the beautiful design of the hospital. There are too many TPO (tree protection order) protected trees being cut which are granted protection by the planning order. There will be over 500 new residents packed into the site with no plan to increase public transport and active travel.”
Labours housing spokesperson Cllr Cal Corkery who attended the city council briefing with the developer today added: “There is zero affordable housing in the proposal which is outrageous but unsurprising. Developers will do what they can to maximise profits and that means reducing planning obligations such as affordable housing wherever possible. It has to be said though that this was – and in fact until planning permission is granted still is – publicly owned land. Quite why NHS Property Services did not insist on affordable housing provision in their contract with the developer I’m not sure – but I suspect it is due to being told by government to sell to the highest bidder.”
“The developer did seem to concede some ground on the use of the Chapel and indicated they would be open to leasing it for community use instead of converting to residential if a suitable proposal was put to them. I’ll be working with Paula and local residents on what this could be used for.”