Too many houses for hospital site
FEWER homes could be built on land at Frenchay Hospital after concerns were raised about initial proposals for the site.
South Gloucestershire Council said it could not support the "flawed" original scheme for up to 550 homes and a school on the land once Frenchay Hospital's acute services move to Southmead and the city centre.
Property consultants working with North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), which owns the site, have now redrawn plans for the site and have put them forward for residents to have their say on. Their views will be considered ahead of an outline planning application being submitted to the council before Christmas.
The latest masterplan for the site shows housing being reduced to a maximum of 490. The location of the two-form entry school has been changed to the east of the site, leaving more open space in the south around the woodland, and an area has been earmarked for allotments.
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In response to comments from neighbours and the council more work has been done to protect some of the trees by creating open spaces around those with preservation orders.
It has emerged that the development site may not be sold as one but could be broken up and sold to different developers.
But planning experts said they do not currently know how much money the trust will make from the site.
They will start working in the spring with potential developers, who will then need to draw up a detailed planning application.
It is anticipated that everything will be in place for development work to start at Frenchay as soon as possible after hospital services have been transferred from the site in 2014. Space has been left for a proposed health and social care centre, plans for which are currently on hold while the commissioners carry out a review, but NBT said it remains committed to the project.
Planning manager Jo Davis, from property firm GVA, said: "The community still want to work with us.
"There are still issues and concerns and we are trying to work through some of those concerns."
She said in the latest masterplan for the whole site, housing would only account for 52 per cent of land use, with 24 per cent being left as open space. The school would account for four per cent of the total site with new healthcare provision taking up nine per cent.
Director of projects at NBT, David Powell, said: "We want to be able to synchronise services leaving the Frenchay site in April 2014 because we don't want dereliction, we want to have a developer ready to start."