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Crisis Averted

Regular readers may recall our article earlier this year on 5th July announcing the submission of a planning application on behalf of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for a Crisis Assessment Centre at St Georges Hospital, Stafford. The Trust provides physical and mental health, learning disability and adult social care services to the 1.5 million people of Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Shropshire.

We worked closely with the Trust and a multi-disciplinary Design Team, including Gilling Dod Architects, to develop the proposals, which would incorporate and enhance the existing Section 136 facility at the hospital.

This scheme seeks to move and enhance the S136 facility through a bespoke facility to meet the needs of both adults and children. As proposed, the development will provide a purpose built building, where mental health assessments can be facilitated for both adults and children and any necessary arrangements made for on-going care. The building will consist of dedicated assessment rooms attached to the suite, a 3-bed crisis suite, together with associated therapy, living, support, staff welfare facilities and external garden areas.

We were delighted when planning permission was granted by Stafford Borough Council under delegated powers on 30th October. Due to the level of detail provided with the application, the consent was secured with no pre-commencement conditions and only six conditions, only one of which requires further approval of details. The Trust is therefore able to implement the permission unencumbered by any pre-commencement conditions.

A crisis was also averted during the course of the application, following an objection by the Council’s Conservation Officer on the grounds that the proposal would result in the loss of a curtilage listed building, Stonefields House.

However, the Prior Approval of the Council for the demolition of that building had been secured in advance by Tyler Parkes on behalf of the Trust, with the support of a detailed Heritage Statement to conclusively demonstrate that Stonefields House was not a curtilage listed building. We were therefore able to draw the Council’s attention to its earlier decision, which was duly accepted and allowed the application to proceed unopposed.

This latest permission complements the suite of permissions already secured by us for the Trust across this large hospital site, and other Trust sites in the Midlands.


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