Councillors shocked at housing application on hospital land

Councillors shocked at housing application on hospital land

Conservative councillors have lashed out at the North Bristol NHS Trust, having heard the news that land reserved by the NHS at Frenchay to deliver promised vital health services is being considered for housing instead.

Health Scrutiny Chair Cllr Marian Lewis said: “We were all very shocked to hear this news. It is clear that the North Bristol Trust is encouraging development on the land reserved for the brand new health facilities at Frenchay, for housing by Redrow Homes.

“This represents a blow to the people of South Gloucestershire, who have been patiently awaiting promised facilities. We are now left questioning whether the Trust ever had any intentions of implementing these new health facilities, and whether this has all been a charade and a phenomenal waste of taxpayers’ money, as well as the time and effort of hundreds of people over more than a decade. That this has been done by the NHS in secret, without any discussion with elected officials, is a slap in the face of democracy.

“Rest assured we will hold the North Bristol Trust accountable for its actions and will remind them of the promises they have made to all of us who either need or likely will need use of these facilities in future.

“The sale of this much-needed health land to Redrow must be halted.”

The decision to close Frenchay Hospital was taken under Tony Blair’s government by Health Secretary John Reid. In order to mitigate the impact that the closure of the hospital would have on local people and services, promises were made that new health facilities (a ‘community hospital’) would be delivered there for rehabilitation, reablement, and recovery, known as the 3Rs. Local residents, politicians, and council officers have been in conversation with the NHS to ensure these are delivered since 2005 and ever since have been beset by delays, excuses and flimsily justified changes to plans.