Multi-million pound hospital redevelopment is given the go-ahead
19th March 2013
Last week a planning application for a £40 million redevelopment of benenden hospital, an independent subsidiary of benenden health, was approved by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
benenden hospital trust welcomed the decision of the council’s planning committee – which saw members vote unanimously in favour of the plans
Hospital director Jane Abbott said: “We are extremely pleased with the decision. This will allow us to go forward with our plans for a £40 million redevelopment to develop the hospital as a leading centre for health and wellbeing. This will result in benenden hospital becoming a state-of-the-art first-class independent hospital.
“The redevelopment will ensure we continue to meet the needs of benenden health members through the delivery of quality healthcare and to attract new members to join benenden health We will also be well positioned to increase our work with the NHS, indeed more than one in 10 patients come to us each year through the NHS Choose and Book system. We will also be able to offer increased services to our private patients.
“The redevelopment will result in 100% single bedrooms with en-suite facilities and there will be increased privacy for patients across all areas of the hospital. The focus will be on our patient comfort and needs.
“There will be a new main entrance with an adjacent car park and drop off area, a relaxation area with class leading catering facilities, our scanning and diagnostic imaging will be all under one roof, there will be an expansion of physiotherapy, a new paediatric wellbeing centre and considerable refurbishment of existing areas.
“We would like to reassure local residents of Benenden that all of our contractors will be part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which means they are committed to being respectful and considerate to our neighbours.
“Disruption will be kept to a minimum throughout. As a functioning hospital we also want to avoid disruption to our patients, our visitors and our staff – as well as the local community.
“Now that our plans have been given approval we aim to start work by September. It will be business as usual at the hospital during the redevelopment, whereby patients will be able to come and go as normal and be seen within the waiting times we are proud of.”
Graham Goddard, hospital development project director, also welcomed the decision.
He said: “This is great news and long awaited by our members and staff. Securing planning consent is a major milestone. This provides the certainty to allow the hospital to tender the construction work and award a multi-million pound contract. Work is planned to start in September and be completed by the middle of 2016.”
The plans were approved by the Joint Eastern and Western Area Planning Committee on Thursday, March 14.