Hospital hopes are dashed

COMMUNITY leaders hoping a new 700-home and industrial development could help fund a new hospital have seen their hopes dashed.Bosses behind the £500million Chilton Woods development, which will also include community facilities and potential for GP surgeries, downplayed any hopes that the scheme could pump money into a new hospital in Sudbury.

COMMUNITY leaders hoping a new 700-home and industrial development could help fund a new hospital have seen their hopes dashed.

Bosses behind the £500million Chilton Woods development, which will also include community facilities and potential for GP surgeries, downplayed any hopes that the scheme could pump money into a new hospital in Sudbury.

Parish councillors and residents in neighbouring Acton had put in the suggestion at the village's annual parish meeting amid concerns that thousands of people could move into the area without “adequate health facilities”.

But Simon Butler-Finbow, of Ashwell Housing Group said it was not possible to plough money into any new hospital under a Section 106 planning agreement.


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He explained: “Any money given out has to be related to the associated scheme and while health considerations are very much on the agenda, the direct link between Chilton and the new hospital probably doesn't fit.

“We understand people's concerns but the powers that be, in terms of health provision, have been made aware by the local plan about the future growth of the whole of Sudbury. We are hoping it might be possible to have a GP surgery on site and this would be something we would welcome.”

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Currently going through a massive consultation process, the plans for Chilton Woods include 700 new homes, up to 30 factories and other buildings.

Parish councillors in Acton also raised concerns about transport and road links and urged developers to ensure there was not a rat-run of traffic through Sudbury and neighbouring Newmans Green.

Chris Moss, council chairman, said: “There is a lot of concern that a plan for 700 homes, plus industry, could be built at a time when we are faced with a reduction of overall health care in the Sudbury area.

“Although we don't think this is a duty of Ashwell, there is a duty to provide sufficient healthcare facilities to cover an enlarged community.”

Ashwell is currently conducting a whistle-stop survey of authorities in the local area before formal public exhibitions are held in May and June.

No-one from the Suffolk PCT, the authority in charge of providing health facilities to the county, was available for comment last night.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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