DUNSTON HILL HOSPITAL: Homes proposed for former hospital site
Plans to flatten Dunston Hill hospital to make way for dozens of homes are set to be given the green light.
Story Homes is seeking permission to build 35 homes on the former hospital site in Dunston, which has been earmarked by Gateshead Council for redevelopment.
The proposals include a mix of three, four and five-bedroom properties, providing a mix of “executive style” family homes while also delivering five three-bedroom affordable houses on site.
In November 2016, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust was granted outline planning permission for housing on the former hospital site.
Since then the developer has updated the plans and has submitted a reserved matters application dealing with landscaping , layout, scale and appearance.
A planning document said that the new homes would be a mixture of four and five bedroom houses.
The document claimed that the new development would include open space and enhance the area.
It said: “One of the main design aims of the appearance of the scheme was always to maintain key areas of open space, but also reflect the built form of Mansion Heights, respect the Whickham Conservation Area status, and protect and enhance the ecological and landscape designations.”
The council’s planning department has recommended approval for the scheme.
Dunston Hill Hospital provided palliative care and mental health services for more than 50 years.
Originally established as a War Pensioner Hospital in 1928, it was controlled by the Ministry of Pensions until 1953 when it passed to the Ministry of Health, but it was not absorbed into the NHS until 1956.
In 2018, Gateshead Health NHS Trust announced it would move palliative care and dementia services, the final departments that used the building, to another location.
At the time Andy Beeby, medical director, said the site had “come to the end of its natural life”.
He said: “The current site is isolated, distant from our main hospital base and has experienced ongoing issues with vandalism and theft.
“Because of the age and location of the facility, we have also had some issues with the power supply and equipment which is now at the end of its natural life. We don’t believe this is the best use of resources or in the best interests of patients with clinics having to be cancelled or moved to other locations at short notice.”
The council is expected to decide on the proposals at a planning committee meeting next Wednesday.
Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter
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