Homes plan for Tyttenhanger NHS site slammed

PUBLISHED: 14:07 26 October 2011

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PROPOSALS to build six new homes following the demolition of an existing factory owned by the NHS have been criticised by a Lib Dem councillor who says the site is unsuitable.

Cllr Chris Brazier is opposed to plans to build the homes on Highfield Lane, Tyttenhanger, which is currently owned by West Herfordshire Hospitals Trust (WHHT). The pill packing unit, used by the Pharmaceutical Packing and Assembly Service (PPAS), employs local people.

Cllr Brazier said he thought the NHS was trying to increase the cost of the land prior to selling it to a developer in a bid to balance their books “It’s an attempt by them to sell off their assets and raise funds, but in applying for planning permission, they will increase the asking price for the site.

“In the meantime, around 15 local workers are facing unemployment.”

Objections to the site centre on the over-development of the space and concerns about the dangerous junction in an area that already suffers from speeding traffic.

Jan Filochowski, chief executive of the WHHT, said that the pill packing unit did not currently comply with modern standards and that private companies could offer a faster and more economical service. If it were kept open, significant financial investment would have to be made to ensure it met the required standards.

He added: “In these difficult times, the Trust’s limited resources must be directed first and foremost into treating its patients. As the pill packing unit is not a core business of the Trust, the difficult decision was taken by the board to close the PPAS service at Tyttenhanger. The trust is in active discussion with PPAS staff regarding suitable alternative employment.”

The planning application has been withdrawn temporarily while the NHS review the application to make it “more acceptable to the planning authorities”. It will then be resubmitted.

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