Minister: Overdale hospital plans scrapped for being 'too big and too expensive'

  • Deputy Tom Binet told ITV News the government has 'no choice' but to abandon the existing plans to build a new hospital at Overdale.

Jersey's Infrastructure Minister says the government had 'no choice' but to scrap its £800+ million plans for a new hospital at Overdale.

It comes as the government announced a review of the plans for the 'Our Hospital' project which were drawn up by the previous Council of Ministers.

Deputy Tom Binet has told ITV News the new hospital may yet be built on the current hospital site at Gloucester Street, as the plans approved by the last government are 'too big and too expensive':

"We have no choice but to turn our back on the project in its current form because it's just too big and too expensive.

"The situation is too volatile and the funding mechanism is broken. So those things set the groundwork for this review."

Work to build new apartments on Kensington Place - adjacent to the existing hospital - has been halted, with the government due to take ownership of the site 'in due course'.

Planning permission to build a new hospital there has already been denied twice, first in 2018 and again in 2019.

Other sites are not being considered, as the government says reviewing all potential sites again would mean the new hospital would not be completed on time.

Work building apartments on Kensington Place has stopped ahead of the government purchasing the site. Credit: ITV Channel TV

At one point, 81 potential sites were being considered for the new hospital before that was eventually whittled down to just three locations.

The government review will look at the affordability of the existing 'Our Hospital' project, the state of the existing hospital facilities, work being carried out to overhaul Jersey's health service, and whether more healthcare services could be provided away from the main hospital.

In a statement, Deputy Binet said there's no doubt a new hospital is needed:

"The case for new hospital facilities has been established and accepted by the public. The complexity of the approach, requirements, the timescale for delivery, cost and financing has meant that the project has seen a number of iterations, none of which have achieved the construction milestone of a modern, affordable, value for money, fit for purpose, and efficient hospital for Jersey."

The Health Minister, Deputy Karen Wilson and her Assistant Minister, Deputy Rose Binet, are also on the team carrying out the review.