Watford borough council have approved an outline planning application for the re-furbishment of Watford General Hospital. The plans are for 3 high-rise buildings to occupy the current hospital site.
The New Hospital Campaingers believe that this is the wrong scheme in the wrong place and at 270 feet, this will be tallest NHS building outside London. In a densely populated suburban town, this will stick out like a sore thumb.
Costs are expected to be over £900 million, which would mean financial ruin for the local NHS. The Government have already told the Trust that they must cut their costs. These plans are purely pie in the sky thinking and if they were ever to actually be built, would cause at least 5 years of disruption and risk to patients at Watford.
The finished product of these short-sighted plans will be three intimidating and outdated tower blocks, which can never provide the healing environment we have been promised by architects.
There are other serious flaws with these plans which do not consider problems with poor air quality, wind tunnel effects between high buildings and worst of all serious flood risks.
We and our families will be stuck with these high-rises for sixty years, unless like so many old concrete 1960s tower blocks, they are demolished first.
The NHC, representing views of those across West Herts, continue to call for fresh thinking for a new hospital on a clean new site, easily accessible by people from all over West Herts. It should have medium-rise buildings that will be better for patients, cheaper and quicker to build than these concrete block towers.