Redevelopment of old Rushden hospital site approved

Plans to build an NHS Resource Centre and up to 125 new homes on the site of a Victorian hospital in Northamptonshire have been approved by councillors despite strong opposition.

East Northamptonshire councillors gave developers permission to build on the site of the old Rushden hospital.

Residents had opposed the plan on the grounds of increased traffic and noise.

But councillors said they felt obliged to allow the application because it was a brownfield site.

Prisoner of War camp

Councillor Gill Mercer, who chaired Tuesday's planning committee meeting, said: "No-one wants it, the public don't want it, we don't want it, we are just doing the best we can."

She said that if the council did not vote the plans through the development would go through on appeal.

Despite the parkland character of the site, the fact that it had been used as a WW1 Prisoner of War camp, a 1920s sanatorium and then as a hospital means the area is classed as a brownfield site.

The site on The Drive currently accommodates a range of Victorian buildings that are disused as well as a doctor's surgery and two NHS respite care homes - The Squirrels and The Martins.

The homes and the doctors surgery are excluded from the development.

Campaigner Dorothy Maxwell said: "It is very disappointing, they haven't listened."

The application will be considered by the full council in the new year.

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