£270m Torfaen Specialist Hospital Gets Go-Ahead
A NEW Specialist and Critical Care Centre (SCCC) will be built in Torfaen after Councillors from Torfaen Council granted outline planning permission at an extraordinary meeting yesterday. Councillors approved plans for the demolition of hospital buildings and the construction of the SCCC on and around the Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital site near Cwmbran, the Grange itself is a listed building. The proposed opening date is currently estimated for 2017/18 and the projected cost is £273 million.
The Specialist and Critical Care Centre (SCCC) will enable specialist and emergency care to be separated from more routine hospital services. It will have up to 450 beds, a hospital sterilisation unit, energy centre, helicopter landing pad and associated infrastructure, and will be the centre-piece of hospital modernisation plans in Gwent. It will also cater for 950 car parking spaces and emergency vehicle access.
Principal Planner Helen Smith, who presented the planning application, said the centre would be a new model of care and there are no other hospitals like it to compare it to. She highlighted the main issues members would need to consider regarding the application, which included highways, parking, objections from site neighbours, the visual and environmental impact, location and use of the helipad for emergencies.
However she said a full assessment had been carried out which had taken into consideration transport and the highways officer was happy with the proposals. She added "Helicopters using the hospital would be infrequent and for emergencies only and they will stay for a limited duration of round four to five minutes."
Chief Officer for planning and public protection Duncan Smith said the new hospital would be an important health facility and he was happy to recommend the application to members.
Ms Becky Cocker, the agent for Aneurin Bevan Health Board said "The centre will be highly unique offering specialist healthcare services for not only Torfaen but wider Gwent. We have been consulting with the community and will continue to do to ensure the impact is minimised."