Page last updated at 13:04 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Approval for new 11m Moreton-in-Marsh hospital

New hospital for Moreton-in-Marsh
About 150 people attended a meeting opposed to the new hospital

Plans have been approved for a new £11m hospital in Gloucestershire to replace the current building which dates back in part to the 19th Century.

The new hospital, which will have 22 beds and two GP group practices, will be built on a site near the centre of Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds.

Some local people are opposed to the new building as it is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The council said the community's wellbeing justified the chosen site.

The new hospital building would replace the existing Moreton-in-Marsh District Hospital.

'Not popular'

Councillor Sue Jepson, from Cotswold District Council, said: "I realise that the choice of site is not universally popular, largely because the location is beyond the development boundary and in an AONB.

"Nevertheless, we believe that the plus points far outweigh the drawbacks and we are conscious that many health professionals have urged us not to miss this opportunity to provide excellent health care facilities to residents across a very large catchment area."

I've known Moreton for 40 years and I think it's a very sad thing to move the hospital from its current site.
Steve Farmsworth

Steve Farmsworth, who lives in Moreton-in-Marsh, is opposed to the proposed site.

He said: "I've been here 30 years and I've known Moreton for 40 years and I think it's a very sad thing to move the hospital from its current site.

"I don't see why the current hospital can't be renovated, it's a listed building, so it would seem better to have it there.

"It just is not the right site for it. It's in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"There were about 150 people at a recent meeting which showed the strength of feeling against the move.

"They don't like where it's going to be built, it will cause problems and it's ugly."

The council said it would be built in natural stone and aimed to limit the visual impact on the surrounding countryside area.

It also said there access to the site would be improved with a new junction off the A429 and parking for almost 200 cars.

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