Hospital Inquiry – Inspector Agrees to Widen Scope
Wednesday 25 July 10:02
The independent inspector due to consider proposals for a new hospital has agreed to widen the terms of reference of the public inquiry to include a high-level, planning-based assessment of alternative sites.
The inspector was due to focus solely on current plans (PP/2018/0507) for building a new hospital on the existing site.
Last month the States Assembly agreed P.90/2018 to ask the Minister for the Environment to request the inspector to consider alternative sites in his inquiry, scheduled for September.
In a letter to the Minister for the Environment the inspector, Philip Stadden said he will consider the alternative sites issue as it may be relevant to the current planning application. However, assessment will be high level, planning-based and proportionate.
Philip Stadden said “I do think that it is safe to speculate that any proposal for a new hospital (of the scale required) on any site in Jersey will result in some adverse environmental effects. This is simply a direct product of the scale and nature of such a large development in a constrained and sensitive Island setting. As a consequence, there is merit in giving some consideration to the issue of alternative sites and the extended terms of reference are helpful in this respect.”
He adds: “Put simply, the decision maker will wish to know whether there is another site that could clearly avoid those adverse effects, or at least substantially reduce them.”
The main question the inspector will consider in his inquiry is: ‘In the event that the Minister concludes that the application proposal (reference PP/2018/0507) would have significant adverse environmental effects, are there alternative site options that would clearly avoid those adverse effects or substantially reduce them?’
The inspector has extended the deadline for submissions to the inquiry on this specific issue. People have until 5 pm on 7 September 2018 to give their views in writing.