Hinchingbrooke Hospital gets go-ahead for key worker flats

Hinchingbrooke Hospital parking fees will return from August 3. PICTURE: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital parking fees will return from August 3. PICTURE: Hinchingbrooke Hospital - Credit: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Plans for Hinchingbrooke Hospital to build an accommodation block for key workers have been given the go-ahead - with demand increasing as a result of pressure caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The unit will provide 10 flats in a modular building installed on an open space near the hospital’s education centre at the rear of the site.

Huntingdon District Council has given the go-ahead for the building which had been part of earlier development plans to make the hospital more attractive to staff.

A hospital spokesman said extra demands on staff because of coronavirus had been an element in the decision to pursue the plan which will provide accommodation for doctors.

The hospital will be required to carry out a tree-planting scheme to replace seven which needed to be felled as well as installing bird and bat boxes to offset the impact of the building on wildlife.

In its decision to approve the scheme the council said: “The development is located within an existing courtyard within the hospital with the existing built form providing a significant level of screening.

“Solar panels are proposed on the roof to maximise solar gain.”

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The council said that although no additional parking was proposed, the hospital campus had car parking and was “extremely accessible” by public transport, adding: “It is considered that there is no requirement for the provision of dedicated parking to accompany this proposal. The proposal is acceptable in this regard.”

Huntingdon Town Council had earlier agreed the plan, saying: “Huntingdon Town Council fully supports the ongoing efforts of key workers and hospital staff.”

The hospital’s application said: “The proposal is a two storey modular building, with five accommodation units on each floor. Each unit is accessible by a walkway and has a private balcony. Eight of the units are studios, and the two units at either end of the first floor are one bedroom units. The accommodation block will be used by keyworkers at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.”

The plans said: “The proposal is a modular building. It will be fabricated off site to minimise construction time on site and disruption to the hospital environment. Solar panels on the roof will provide some of the energy required for the development.”