Oxford hospital pipeline plan given go-ahead

Oxford hospital pipework Image copyright Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Work started on the pipeline, with trenches between the hospitals

Plans to link two Oxford hospitals by a pipeline to share energy have been given the go-ahead.

The link will cut costs by transferring excess heat between the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals.

Planning problems delayed digging, with work halted in January as the project lacked the right permissions.

The 18-month scheme will cost £14.8m and means the buildings will be less reliant on the national power grid during the winter months.

Oxfordshire County Council granted a licence on Monday to allow contractors Vital Energi to continue to dig up roads in order to lay the pipeline.

But Oxford City Council also needed to approve the plans and permission was eventually granted by planning officers at a meeting on Wednesday evening.

The 1.6-mile pipeline (2.2 km) will run under Churchill Drive and All Saints Road, before crossing below London Road and onto the John Radcliffe below Sandfield and Woodlands roads.

Image copyright Bill Nicholls
Image caption The John Radcliffe Hospital is having its heating and hot water systems upgraded

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