Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Hospital campaign in limbo as third consultation opens

UNCERTAINTY about the future of Westbury hospital continues as Wiltshire Council this month opened public consultation on the plans for the third time.

The proposals, first submitted in November, are still for the demolition of the hospital and building of up to 60 homes, but small changes have been made to the building layout and drainage plans.

The window for public comments has been extended until Friday 1st April. The original consultation ended on 1st January  but has since been reopened twice.

Local healthcare campaign group Sensible Thinking on Patients (STOP) has spearheaded a fight to stop the closure of the hospital. The group says it wasn’t told about the application being changed.

159 comments from the public are already listed alongside the application, and STOP’s campaign has seen residents trying to build a case against it for over a year.

STOP committee member Robert Watson said, “It strikes me that there is a fair amount of uncertainty around how the planning application  is going, both from Wiltshire Council and NHS Property Services.

“At the very least, Wiltshire Council need to let consultees – particularly STOP – know when the application will be decided, so we can prepare our presentation and pencil the date in our diaries.

“The uncertainty is very frustrating and unsettling for residents who would be affected by the development, particularly those of us living in the vicinity.”

Group chair Erica Watson said, “In theory the longer we have to work on the campaign the better it is for us, but when Wiltshire Council keeps changing dates without any announcements, it’s hard for us to plan.”

To view the full plans  or to leave a comment enter reference 15/11604/OUT in the planning search at www.wiltshire.gov.uk