The news that North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) have given the nod to developer Redrow to put in a planning application on the former Frenchay hospital site has called into question the future of the Thornbury Hospital site. Assurances were previously given that both sites would be used for community health and care facilities.
Thornbury Councillor Maggie Tyrell said: “We were told in November that the future requirements for health and care facilities at Frenchay and Thornbury were under review and that recommendations would be made by the Spring. We know now that, by that time, NBT were already in talks with Redrow about developing housing across much of the Frenchay site. This planning application pre-judges the outcome of the review, and raises the questions as to whether the Thornbury site will also be targeted for housing development.”
Fellow Thornbury Councillor, Shirley Holloway, said: “I have asked representatives from NBT directly if they intend to turn the Thornbury Hospital site over to developers, as appears to be happening at Frenchay. They assure me that they have no such plans, and that they remain committed to providing health and care facilities at both Frenchay and Thornbury. However, we remain concerned that, with the local NHS so strapped for cash, at least some of the Thornbury site may end up being turned over to developers.”
Deputy Leader of South Glos Lib Dems, Claire Young, said: “It is outrageous that the NBT are considering allowing houses to be built on land that was supposed to be set aside for community health facilities before they’ve worked out how to provide those facilities. Ultimately, however, it’s not the NBT who are to blame here, but the Conservative Government that has left the local NHS chronically short of money.
“The Lib Dems believe that we should raise income tax by a penny on the pound give the NHS has the money it needs, so that health managers can concentrate their efforts on improving services, rather than constantly having to look for ways to raise extra money.”