Hospital's £26m development approved

A NEW multi-million pound treatment centre for one of the region's biggest and busiest hospitals has been given the go-aheadBut plans for an accompanying multi-storey car park as part of the Ipswich Hospital development are still in the balance.

A NEW multi-million pound treatment centre for one of the region's biggest and busiest hospitals has been given the go-ahead

But plans for an accompanying multi-storey car park as part of the Ipswich Hospital development are still in the balance.

The long-awaited Garrett Anderson Centre is the biggest building project at the hospital for 30 years - and yesterday planning chiefs at Ipswich Borough Council finally gave the £26m development the thumbs up.

However, a proposal to build a multi-storey car for the centre in nearby Pearson Road has been deferred subject to a site visit after a number of nearby residents raised their concerns.


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Christine Smart, chairman of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said: "This is excellent news and we are all looking forward to the start of the building work in the autumn.

"The new Garrett Anderson Centre will transform health care for local people when it is ready in 2007."

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The state-of-the-art building will include an accident and emergency department, critical care centre, day surgery suite and a ward dedicated to planned or "elective" care.

It has been named after Suffolk-born Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was the UK's first female doctor. She was also the first woman mayor in England, for Aldeburgh.

Private sector company Prospect Healthcare is providing funding for the development and has entered into a private finance initiative with Ipswich Hospital meaning that it will lease the project to the NHS when it is complete.

However, proposals outlined in the hospital's travel strategy plan for an accompanying multi-storey car park at nearby Pearson Road have been deferred so that planning chiefs can visit the site.

Last week Lesley Cockerton, chief executive of the St Elizabeth Hospice, on Foxhall Road, said that she had concerns about the car park because it was out of keeping with the character of the area and feared that it might disrupt the tranquillity of the area.

"We have registered an objection on a number of issues in terms of the site and what it means to us. We have big worries about the environmental impact, noise and traffic control," she said.

A spokesperson for Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust said that they were aware of the issues that had been raised and would continue to work together with local residents, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council to try and find a suitable solution.

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