Planning Inspector to weigh up pros and cons of Jersey's new hospital

A week long inquiry is starting today (4 April), weighing up the pros and cons of the Overdale site Credit: ITV Channel/Government of Jersey

An independent planning inspector is set to examine the design and location of the planned new hospital at Overdale.

Philip Staddon is starting a week long enquiry today (Monday 4 April) at the St Paul's Centre, St Helier. The Environment Minister will then decide whether to approve the application following his advice.

Back in 2018, Mr Staddon rejected the former plans which would have seen the new hospital built at the current site. He said it was "grossly out of scale, over dominant, obtrusive and an alien structure."

He then refused plans for a second time a year later, saying a lower, wider plan on the current site should not be allowed based on size and residential impact.

The Overdale site

The planning application for Jersey's new Overdale Hospital was submitted in November 2021. It includes an acute and general hospital, mental health unit and training centre.

It also has more operating theatres than the current hospital and staff wellbeing areas.

If the application is given the go ahead, Jersey's government hopes the hospital will be operational by the end of 2026. Buildings could start to be demolished this month (April 2022).

The plans that are awaiting approval include:

  • Constructing a new hospital and associated buildings including mental health centre, energy centre, knowledge centre, multi storey car park, surface level parking and landscaping.

  • Demolishing existing buildings, not covered by the application, including La Chapelle de St. Luc, Thorpe Cottage, Briez Izel, 1 Castle View, 5 Castle View, 1 Hillcrest, part of driveway, raised planter and strip of land at entrance to Hill Crest and Castle View, Mont Martin Cottage and two outbuildings, L’Amyerie, 1 to 3 Westmount Terrace, Berkeley Rise, Westmount House, Folly Field, part of the garden of Camden, and Jersey Bowling Club.

  • Reconfiguring and landscaping Westmount Road, including People’s Park, Lower Park, Westmount Gardens and Victoria Park - including changes to the playground and Petanque Courts.

The demolition of existing structures includes all buildings on the existing Overdale Hospital Site, Mulcaster House (Jersey Water) and the former Jersey Electricity sub-station in Victoria Park.

It comes just a month (March 2022) after Jersey's Planning Department said they could not support the government's plan to build a new hospital at Overdale.

Planners said that the application as it stands has "harms which are so great, they outweigh even the very significant benefits generated by the proposals."

Proposals to demolish buildings at the planned site were rejected by politicians in February.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, Chair of the Our Hospital Political Oversight Group, said at the time that he did not think this decision would have an impact on the overall timeline of the delivery of the new hospital and that demolition requirements would be looked in to as part of the planning inquiry.