Agenda item

22/01237/S73 - Accident And Emergency Department, The Alexandra Hospital, Woodrow Drive


This application was being reported to the Planning Committee for determination because the application was for major development and as such the application fell outside the scheme of delegation to Officers.


Officers presented the report and in doing so, drew Members attention to the presentation slides on pages 5 to 15 of the Site Plans and Presentations Pack.


The application was for the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch. It sought the variation of Condition 2 of the previously approved application (21/00444/FUL) to reconfigure the layout of the car parks.


Officers detailed to Members the differences between the previously approved and proposed applications in terms of parking provision and orientation, which included the removal of the helipad.


Members attention was drawn to the proposed changes to Quinneys Lane, which included some footpath alterations, as detailed on page 14 of the Public Reports Pack.


Officers clarified the following points during questions from Members:


  • That the previous application had provision for 308 spaces to replace the 307 spaces lost with the demolition of the existing staff carpark, the proposed application would have 323 spaces.
  • That the proposed application sought the removal of the helipad. The reason for removal given by the NHS Trust was that it was no longer necessary. Officers further detailed that a helipad could be installed in an alternative location should the position of the NHS Trust change.
  • The trees being lost due to the proposed development were all young species, there were no protected trees or areas identified.
  • That the Highways adaptions included the widening of the mouth of the entrance, a removal of a bump in the road and improvements to the pavement.


Members then considered the application.


Intense discussion ensued regarding the application, in particular concerns with the removal of the helipad. The following points and comments were made by some Members:


  • That the helipad had been used recently and was a lifesaving facility.
  • There was debate regarding whether having a Helipad had been a condition for the original planning application when the hospital was constructed.
  • Concern was expressed regarding the time it would take to be constructed should the helipad, once again, be deemed necessary.
  • The merits of deferring the application to receive more information from the NHS Trust, given that the loss of the helipad was not a material planning consideration.
  • That to remove the helipad did not require planning permission, therefore, the NHS Trust could choose to remove it without prior notice irrespective of the outcome of the application.


To be noted, Councillor Clayton having suggested a deferral and the reasons why, was informed by Officers that his reasons for deferral were not valid.


Councillor Hartnett requested that it be noted that the loss of the helipad provision on site was not a material planning consideration and therefore, gave no basis to refuse the application.


Councillor Marshall requested that it be noted that the Planning Committee strongly disagreed with the removal the helipad.


Officers reassured the Committee in response to the comments raised, that the decision to remove the helipad was a an operational matter for the NHS Trust and was not a material planning consideration. Officers further advised that it would be inappropriate to defer or refuse an application on that basis, such an action could incur costs against Redditch Borough Council by the Planning Inspectorate should the decision be appealed.


Officers acknowledged Members strong feelings regarding the loss of the helipad and agreed to convey this feeling to the NHS Trust for information. Officers agreed to share any information they receive with Planning Committee Members.


On being put to a vote it was:


Resolved that


having had regard to the development plan and to all other material considerations, planning permission be granted subject to the Conditions, as detailed on pages 21 to 24 of the Public Reports Pack and the revised conditions as per the Update Report.


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