Planning application goes in for new Northumberland hospital in Berwick

The planning application for the long-awaited new hospital in Berwick has now been submitted.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 15th June 2020, 11:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 12:32 am

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is seeking permission from Northumberland County Council for the £25million development on the site of the existing infirmary, although the plans have not yet been processed and gone live on the authority’s planning portal.

If planning approval is granted, the two-storey building will accommodate all of the existing services plus Well Close Medical Group.

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A CGI illustration of how the new site will look

The trust is also assuring the community that the £25million earmarked for this facility is still available and the funding has not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Marion Dickson, an executive director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading the Berwick redevelopment project, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our plans for a new hospital in Berwick have moved forward with the submission of our planning application.

“We have been working towards formally seeking planning permission for some months and we would like to thank the local community for their invaluable input in this engagement – to have had such a positive response to our proposals is excellent.

“While the NHS has faced many challenges in recent months, we can assure local people that there is no doubt over the funding for the new hospital and the £25million set aside is intact.

“We are also confident that the project can be delivered within this budget and we look forward to the next stage of this exciting development.”

The trust says that the hospital’s ‘modern design incorporates sustainability and efficiency in the final choice of materials and will embrace the latest technology in delivering the highest quality of care’.

Services will continue to be provided throughout this process and the target completion date for the new hospital is spring 2022.

Progress on the new facility, which has been on the cards for a number of years, was originally announced in autumn 2018, but sparked a backlash as residents opposed it sharing a site with the new leisure centre.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), backed down on the co-location proposals and in May last year announced that the new stand-alone hospital would be built on the current Infirmary site – something which had previously been ruled out.