max temp: 12°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury: NHS trust defends extra homes on Walnuttree Hospital site

11:05 04 April 2014

The Walnuttree Hospital site in Sudbury

The Walnuttree Hospital site in Sudbury

An NHS trust has defended a decision not to include a community facility in its plans for a soon-to-be redundant hospital building in west Suffolk.


The fate of Walnuttree Hospital in Sudbury has been the focus of much speculation since plans to replace it with a new £10million health centre in Church Field Road – due to open this autumn – were given the go-ahead.

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust is now in the process of applying for planning permission for a scheme that would see parts of Walnuttree demolished and replaced with housing.

In the latest plans, the core of the Victorian building would be retained, but hopes of creating a hall for nearby St Gregory’s Church and a much-needed town archive in the former outpatients’ department have been dashed.

The number of homes in the scheme has increased to 49 and the community facility has been dropped, which has angered members of local groups, including the Sudbury Society.

But a spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said it had always been clear that the inclusion of a community building would be dependent on viability. Extra homes would mean more funds to be ploughed back into healthcare services in the area.

He added: “Unfortunately studies carried out last year showed the proposal would not be feasible.

“Instead, we have been advised to add a further six homes to the scheme to maximise the value of the land on behalf of taxpayers and make it an attractive and viable option for developers.”

Sudbury Society chairman Peter Thorogood has accused the trust of failing to consult local groups about the revised plans. He said the community hall could have been part-funded by a legacy from local historian Tony Wheeler and wouldn’t have cost the ratepayers anything.

He added: “We have put considerable effort into liaising with heritage architects over this proposal and we are disappointed that no-one bothered to come to us and say they were dropping the community facilities.

“We only have the trust’s word that it’s not viable and we would request that they publish the report showing the figures so we can all see it.”

The trust spokesman said concerns regarding the viability of the site had been explained to members of its liaison forum last year. A further meeting with the Sudbury Society would be arranged in the near future.



The launch of 'Pigs Gone Wild' at Trinity Park.

A piggie parade that is set to draw many visitors to Ipswich and raise £100,000 for a hospice charity took off in style last night at a glittering launch event.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service attended two road traffic collisions this evening.

Needham Road in Stowmarket where the crash took place

An 81-year-old cyclist who sustained serious injuries following a collision in Stowmarket last week has died.

Chelmsford Crown Court

Two teenagers that caused extensive burns to a Witham man’s face after throwing a corrosive liquid at him in a case of mistaken identity have been found guilty.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance is in attendance.

A woman has suffered a “potentially life-changing” head injury during a crash in Beccles.

Pc Jason Lambourne

When Pc Jason Lambourne isn’t working for Suffolk Constabulary, he dons another emergency services uniform for work as an extra in hit television shows and films, including the latest 007 movie.

The area off Mount Pleasant in Framlingham which could see 95 new homes built on it.

Campaigners have been left “outraged” after a decision on whether to allow 95 homes to be built on greenfield land in a historic market town was deferred.

Michael Scott, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust . Photo: Steve Adams

A lack of beds and increased demand led to a four-fold increase in the cost of sending people with mental health problems outside of Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014/15.

Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of drink-driving.

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after her car mounted a roundabout and collided with a sign.

Police called following contentious meeting of Long Melford Parish Council

Police were called to “restore order” at a parish council meeting in a picture postcard Suffolk village because one of the councillors claimed he “feared for his safety”.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages