Sidmouth Hospital plans’ six-inch poser

PUBLISHED: 11:22 18 April 2011 | UPDATED: 11:35 18 April 2011

Plans for phase five of the hospital rebuild

Plans for phase five of the hospital rebuild

Archant

CONTROVERSIAL plans to extend Sidmouth Victoria Hospital are a ‘six inches away’ from being “acceptable”- town councillors ruled on Wednesday.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to extend Sidmouth Victoria Hospital are a ‘six inches away’ from being “acceptable”- town councillors ruled on Wednesday.

Civic leaders declared size does matter when they were unable to support blueprints for a two-storey expansion for the second time- despite minor alterations to blueprints.

They want the applicant, the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust, to enter into negotiations with district council planning experts to find “a compromise” over the length of a roof it is claimed will overshadow a footpath, homes and gardens in All Saints Road.

“I understand residents’ concerns and worries but I think sometimes we have to bite the bullet,” said Councillor Peter Sullivan.

“If you want a first-class establishment, sometimes you have to just go with it. We are close to accepting this. For the sake of six inches are we not going to allow a good facility to extend our hospital?”

“We do need this extra facility, but not at the expense of residents,” said Cllr Mary Jolly.

“This (amended plan) doesn’t fundamentally alter our objections,” said Cllr Ian McKenzie Edwards.

“We’re all in favour of a modern hospital but the concerns of people in All Saints Road have to be addressed.”

Cllr Chris Wale added: “It’s about compromise, balance and give and take. The hospital is an excellent service and it has to be able to take on future generations.”

“It’s close to something I would strongly support,” said Cllr David Barratt.

Members of Sidmouth Town Council’s planning committee unanimously resolved they were unable to support plans- but said they could change their minds if talks took place over the proposed structure’s roof in a bid to protect neighbours’ amenities.

Mooted work to the hospital would see an existing building demolished and replaced with a two-storey structure to house new kitchens.

The district council will consider the town’s view when it decides the fate of plans.


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