Plans for new £300m Wynyard hospital to go before Hartlepool planning committee

A model of how the proposed hospital might look
A model of how the proposed hospital might look

PLANS for a new £300m hospital at Wynyard will be put before a planning committee next week with councillors recommended to back the proposals.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust had to re-submit its original planning application to Hartlepool Borough Council after its original permission lapsed.

Health chiefs have now been working to replace the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, for more than a decade.

Councillors on the council’s planning committee will meet next week to discuss the plans, recommended to be approved. The new hospital has a target opening date of 2017.

The application is for a 568-bed hospital with an extra 66 day beds, including 26 wards, 14 operating theatres and outpatient, diagnostic and endoscopy facilities.

The new hospital will be 100 per cent single patient bedrooms, with 1,500 car parking spaces for patients, staff and visitors.

In October 2009, the council granted outline planning permission for the development, when it was expected the scheme could be completed by the spring of 2015.

But a series of setbacks, including the withdrawal of Government funding, meant the planning permission granted almost four years ago expired in October last year.

Even if the plans are approved, progress has already been hit by another delay as regulator Monitor and Department of Health, from which hospital bosses are hoping to get £100m, continue to consider the proposal, as previously reported.

Trust chiefs have been involved in detailed talks with both parties after submitting a revised business case last August.

Alan Foster, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Unfortunately because of the delay with the new hospital the outline planning permission we had already been granted had expired and we needed to re-apply.

“The new hospital is the final piece of the momentum: pathways to healthcare jigsaw to transform healthcare in our area.

“There is no doubt that having a state-of-the-art hospital in a central location will strengthen our ability to retain the excellent medical and nursing staff we already have and to attract the calibre of health professionals we will need to ensure we can maintain clinical standards and provide the best care.”

The 19-hectare site is located at Wynyard Business Park north of the A689 and west of the A19. Ahead of the meeting, to be held at 10am inside the council chamber, in Victoria Road, on Wednesday, February 19, there have been 15 letters of objection and three letters of no objection.