Beds, Herts & Bucks

New Queen Elizabeth Hospital plans approved

An artist's impression of the proposed new QEII hospital
Image caption An artist's impression of the proposed new QEII hospital

Outline plans for the building of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEII) in Welwyn Garden City have been given the go-ahead.

Plans to develop a smaller unit on the existing site and build 202 homes were approved by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council on Thursday.

The new hospital will provide a local A&E facility alongside other services including a children's centre.

The facility is expected to open in spring 2014.

It will replace the old QEII when services are centralised at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Other services at the new QEII hospital will include GP services, ante-natal and post-natal services, and the Vicki Adkins Breast Unit.

Space on the site has also been set aside for the possible future development of a health and social care facility, which could provide beds for older people, and other services.

Parking issues

The approval is subject to certain conditions being met.

Offsite car parking for contractors to help minimise local disruption needs to be identified, and NHS Hertfordshire needs to contribute towards bus shelter improvements and public transport information for patients.

If necessary, provision needs to be made for 60 extra car parking spaces to be added at a later date.

The original application was considered by the council's planning control committee on 11 August, but the decision was deferred to allow NHS Hertfordshire to clarify how additional car parking spaces could be provided in the future.

Jacqui Bunce, who is leading the development on behalf of NHS Hertfordshire, confirmed that a legal agreement would soon be put in place to make sure that the provision of car parking is right.

"We have committed to review the car parking arrangements six months after the new hospital opens and annually for three years after that and can incorporate additional spaces if they are needed," she said.

Ms Bunce also said that she was "delighted" that this milestone in building the new hospital had now been reached.

"Our focus between now and the end of the year is to draw up the more detailed plans for each service within the new facility and we'll keep local people up to date on the progress we're making," she added.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites