green light to proceed to next stage with new hospital following ministerial visit
Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke welcomed the Minister for Hospitals to Basingstoke on Thursday. The Minister, Lord Markham has confirmed that funding is now in place for ‘enabling works’ to build the new Hospital including: the cost of a Land Option Agreement between landowner and developer, Planning Application Requirements, a full Transport Assessment, and the cost of a public consultation expected to start in the next few weeks.
The Minister also visited the two locations for the new Hospital identified by the Hampshire Hospital’s Trust: the preferred site, near J7 on the M3, previously identified by the Ambulance service as a site that would save lives because of its proximity to the highways network, and a new build on the current Hospital site which would be more complex given the need to keep the existing Hospital running throughout.
The final choice will be made following public consultation. The go ahead to secure an option to build at the site near J7 means the needs of the new Hospital, a National Infrastructure Project, can start to be better taken into account by the Planning Authority if other planning applications come forward for nearby sites, particularly protecting the capacity of the roads network.
Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke said, “Lord Markman who is the Government Minister in charge of the New Hospital Programme visited both sites identified for the new HHFT Basingstoke Hospital; he met patients, Hospital staff, local elected representatives and officials from Basingstoke and Dean Council and heard for himself the overwhelming support for the new Hospital, and that our Hospital Trust is already well advanced with the preparatory work needed to get the Hospital built.
“Our Hospital Trust has worked incredibly hard to ensure its detailed business plan has been approved by the Treasury securing £900million ring fenced funding; and is now continuing that approval and scrutiny through the extensive internal NHS approval processes which continue over the coming months. This is the largest infrastructure project in Basingstoke’s history and the new Hospital will be serving our community for the next 70 years so its important to plan properly to get it right.”
“Lord Markham’s team and Hampshire Hospital Trust have been working together on the ‘modular design’ for our new Hospital and at the meeting we saw extensive details of the design approach, the importance of technology to support patients to get the best possible treatment and how the natural environment will be harnessed to help give patients and staff the best possible place to recover and work. The modular design can be modified to meet the needs of the particular site.”
Both the borough council leader Cllr Paul Harvey and the chief executive Russell O’Keefe heard how the plans for the new hospital are progressing well and gave their full support, with the good news that an option on a preferred site can be purchased in advance of the consultation being finalised.
Maria said, “We have a plan, we have a preferred site, and we have a great team of professionals leading the way. We’re ready to move forward to Public Consultation which is fully funded by the NHS. So, let’s get it done!”