The West Herts NHS Trust are letting private sector developers ‘run rings round it’ in negotiations over the future of Watford General Hospital. The Hospital is set to lose half the area it currently uses, as commercial interests take the best land on its current site.
The Trust have announced controversial plans to house the Hospital in three of Watford’s tallest buildings – 18, 16 and 14 storeys high. Now planning documents have revealed that Watford’s high- rise hospital is set to be closely hemmed in by even more multi-storey blocks, many built by developers. The tallest of the three planned hospital towers will reach 80 metres – 12.5 metres higher than Grenfell Tower.
The New Hospital Campaign (NHC) today accused the Trust of an ‘abject failure’ in its negotiations, leaving the high-rise hospital to be built on its notoriously sloping car park and marooned in a sea of overdevelopment that will mean that the WGH site will contain buildings with more than 150 storeys between them – a 500 percent rise on the number of storeys on the site at present.
The Campaign will continue to press for the new hospital to be built instead on a clear central site easily accessible to all in West Hertfordshire.
We know this can be achieved. With a new lower-rise hospital on a clear site near Harlow set to replace the present cramped urban Princess Alexandra Hospital, this is an example of what can be achieved by an NHS Trust with the right priorities.
We are asking residents of St. Albans and District, Dacorum including Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring to make their views known by 23 April in a virtual consultation which can be reached by clicking this link: https://www.bdp.com/westhertshospitals