Revised plans to build nearly 500 homes on Frenchay Hospital site put forward
9:30am Wednesday 28th November 2012 in News By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
REVISED plans to build nearly 500 homes on the site of Frenchay Hospital will be lodged with South Gloucestershire Council before Christmas.
North Bristol NHS Trust, which owns the hospital, said it had listened to local people’s concerns and made a number of changes including reducing the number of homes from 550 to 490 following public consultation earlier this year.
The hospital is due to close in 2014 when services will be centralised in what will become the region’s main acute hospital in Southmead.
The trust said it did not want to leave a vacant site and was trying to be a ‘good neighbour’ by winning planning permission for a development the community had been consulted on before selling the land.
Director of projects David Powell said with only 18 months until the hospital is vacated, it was disappointing to hear that council planners did not feel they could support the trust’s masterplan for the site.
"We are leaving Frenchay in April 2014 and we don’t want to leave a derelict site," he said. "We want to have developers ready and plans ready to go so we can have a seamless handover."
The trust is hoping for a decision on its plans from the council by March.
Jo Davis, from the trust’s planning consultancy GVA, said people in Frenchay did have concerns over the density of development but they were willing to work with the project team.
"None of us are ever going to get away from the scale of the site," she said. "It is disproportionate to some of the village but it doesn’t mean it can’t be successfully plugged into the village."
She said the development, which includes plans for a primary school, would have three different character areas. There will be one residential area of formal, Georgian-style houses, another village section with medium density and a third suburban area with fewer homes and plenty of green open spaces.
Allotments have been added to the revised plans and the trust’s headquarters, located in a listed building, will remain on site along with the current Burden centre. Plans for a health and social care centre, promised by NHS South Gloucestershire as part of the wider Bristol Health Services Plan, have been put on hold but the trust said it remained committed to providing the facility and had included room for it in the masterplan.
People have until December 3 to comment on the proposed plans and there will be a further round of public consultation, led by the council, when the plans are submitted.
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