Councillors set to give new Kettering private hospital green light

A decision will be made tomorrow

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 5:23 pm
An artist's impression of the new hospital.

A bid to build a new private hospital on the edge of Kettering looks set to be approved tomorrow (Thursday).

North Northamptonshire Council officers have recommended that councillors grant planning permission for the day-case medical facility at North Kettering Business Park, near the hamburger roundabout.

Applicants WW Medical Facilities Ltd say the facility could create 90 highly-skilled jobs and that it would be used for a "vital" extension of services provided by Woodland Hospital, just off Junction 6 of the A14 between Kettering and Rothwell, which has reached capacity.

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Where the new facility would be, outlined in red.

Under the plans the new satellite private hospital site would be used for minor operations and procedures, ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat therapies, maxillofacial, urology, pain management and gynaecology and diagnostic services. The existing 35-room Woodland Hospital would then be used for more complex surgery procedures.

A planning statement said: "Due to increased demand and lack of capacity in the area, this investment is seen as being important and intrinsic to reducing the continued increase in patient waiting times and deferred treatment and diagnostic services in the community."

Seven letters were received by council officers from members of the public who raised a series of concerns.

They included that Glendon Road - the proposed access point - is not fit for the amount of traffic proposed and that the access should be moved to off the main road opposite the Argos Wincanton warehouse. A 279-strong petition was submitted as part of their argument.

But highways officers say the provision of an access off Glendon Road would result in the removal of the bus stops and layby, which they say would remove the choice of a sustainable means of transport serving the medical centre and the wider business park. They say access as proposed in the application is acceptable and a refusal of the application due to the location of the access would not be sustained at appeal.

Nearby neighbours also objected on the grounds of potential noise from traffic movements, saying they wouldn't be able to enjoy outdoor space, with one saying they should be compensated for the inconvenience if planning permission is granted. Another said the building would be 'offensive' to look at and 'extremely ugly' in a rural setting.

And another raised concerns about their giant tortoise who goes for a daily hour-long walk along the middle of the road. They said a car can miss him, but a lorry wouldn’t be able to.

If approved the new two-storey hospital will include an MRI and CT scanner, theatre suite, outpatients suite and more.

A planning statement added that the new site would reduce delays to elective surgery, avoidable admissions and delayed transfers of care, as well as reducing "fundamental" pressures on the local healthcare system.

Plans say the hospital operator will provide elective NHS, self-pay and insured contracted treatment as well as surgical, diagnostic and rehabilitation services. The site will have parking space for about 100 cars

The applicants ruled out building the new hospital facility at the town's Hanwood Park development or a site by the town's Tesco Extra.

A decision will be made at the meeting in Kettering's council chamber in Bowling Green Road. The meeting starts at 7pm.