THERE is no Plan B if a proposed St Wilfrid’s move to Bosham collapses, the hospice has warned.
St Wilfrid’s had high hopes of relocating from its Donnington home in a £12m move.
However it has been revealed planners are recommending the scheme is refused planning permission next Wednesday (November 11).
“We are extremely disappointed that the planning officer at Chichester District Council has decided to recommend ‘refusal’ of our planning application,” said Alison Moorey, chief executive of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
“It is particularly disheartening because at the pre-planning stage the planning officers said our application was ‘very likely to receive officer support’.
“Only five potential relocation sites were identified, four of these proved unsuitable for our requirements. A new hospice at Bosham is the only site that meets all of our needs. There is no Plan B.
“St Wilfrid’s is a vital facility that is of the utmost importance to the whole community – the impact of not being able to further develop our services and meet our community needs should be the main consideration here.”
A report released ahead of the meeting admitted it was a ‘challenging case’.
“What is readily apparent is that the service the applicant currently provides in terms of end-of-life care and support for a large number of patients and their families is greatly valued,” said officers.
“The fact that the proposal would lead to such services being enhanced is, therefore, an important material consideration that weighs in favour of the proposal.”
However, they said there would be a ‘fundamental conflict’ with planning policies if the scheme went ahead. In addition, it said it would harm the character of the area of outstanding natural beauty and undermine Bosham’s neighbourhood plan.
The move would see the demolition of glasshouses and buildings at Oakcroft Nursery, in Walton Lane.
In its place, a new hospice with an 18-bedroom inpatient unit and day hospice would be built, along a cafe, shop, offices and car park. Officers have recommended approval at the same meeting for a plan to demolish the existing hospice – were it to move – and replace it with 21 homes.
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