Harold Wood Hospital

As our Focus readers know, we have long opposed first the closure of the hospital and then subsequent proposals to overdevelop the site.

Harold Wood Hospital Closure announced.

When Labour Minister Frank Dobson first announced the closure of the hospital we collected and submitted a residents’ petition against it. We felt that that it was a great pity that a series of piecemeal short-term decisions had strangled proper progress of the hospital. The closure had wasted a lot of public money invested in the hospital over the years.

480 rejected than appealed. Council gives permission for 423.

During 2006, the year the hospital closed, it submitted an application for 480 dwellings on part of the site; this was turned down by the council and went to appeal. The hospital authority then sold the site to a developer.

Representatives of your FOCUS team attended the appeal in 2007 against these plans. They were withdrawn because outline plans for 423 dwellings on part of the site had already been approved by the council.

After this the unused part of the site became derelict and the Focus Team had cause to complain about vandalism and theft and this resulted in a little improvement in security.

2009 – Only LibDem Councillor Jonathan Coles speaks against over 800 dwellings

Cllr Jonathan Coles attended the planning meeting on 12th November 2009 and spoke against the proposals for 874 dwellings on the whole site including conversion of the Grange. The committee had a Conservative majority, but also included representatives of Residents’ groups and Labour. Jonathan urged the committee to reject the plans but sadly no councillor proposed a motion to do this. Eventually the committee decided to defer the decision, largely because they found the tower block was too tall and they felt that the proportion of flats to houses was too high. There were 5 other issues. This means that developer is expected to enter discussions with the council to address the seven points.

Councillor Jonathan Coles was the only councillor who spoke at the meeting who challenged the substance of the plan and the overall number of dwellings in it.



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