Campaign against homes in health revamp
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to fight plans to incorporate houses in a major scheme to revamp health services in Tendring.Proposals for the redevelopment of Harwich Hospital and Dovercourt Health Centre could see the demolition of some or all of the existing hospital in Main Road, Dovercourt, with possible improvements including a new community hospital, health centre and ambulance station.
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to fight plans to incorporate houses in a major scheme to revamp health services in Tendring.
Proposals for the redevelopment of Harwich Hospital and Dovercourt Health Centre could see the demolition of some or all of the existing hospital in Main Road, Dovercourt, with possible improvements including a new community hospital, health centre and ambulance station.
A housing development could be built on part of the land considered surplus to requirement.
The Tendring Primary Care Trust cannot say exactly what will be included because it has shortlisted three potential plans. But said all existing services will be transferred and additional ones introduced and that the public will be consulted before any changes go ahead.
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Some Harwich residents are concerned about future services at the hospital which was built in memory of war hero Captain Fryatt.
The Tendring Health Action Group and the Community Representatives Party yesterday joined forces to petition against the housing proposal – gathering 200 signatures in about an hour at Safeway in Parkeston.
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Action group spokeswoman Vickie Williams said: "A residential development would cause traffic chaos near the site. Not one person refused to sign, they all felt very strongly that the land was left for the people of the town.
"Harwich is growing and we feel the land should be left vacant so the hospital can expand in the future as the need for more services increases."
Trust chief executive Paul Unsworth said a major part of the site was owned by the Secretary of State for Health and even if the scheme had not brought forward the opportunity to redevelop, the Secretary of State would have made a separate application for the residential development on the surplus land.
He said: "The design of the new hospital will be purely service-driven and will utilise whatever space is necessary to provide the highest possible levels of service that we are determined to bring to the local population.
"I cannot stress too strongly that the outline planning application submitted is to establish uses on the site, to demonstrate the scheme is achievable in planning terms and that the plan submitted is only indicative and must be read in conjunction with text submitted with the application."
The plans to redevelop the existing hospital and health centre - part of a £40million revamp which could transform health services in Tendring and Colchester – are currently before Tendring District Council.
Last year, a joint application from Tendring and Colchester Primary Care Trusts saw the Government approve a range of different projects, including a new primary care centre for Colchester and improved GP services across the two districts, under the NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) initiative.