DPP has secured planning permission for the retention of the Day Treatment Centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
DPP were appointed to advise The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (‘the Trust’) on their permitted development options for the development of a day treatment centre at the Freeman Hospital to enable them to address some of the waiting list challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The development comprises a new, stand-alone building at the front of the Freeman Hospital site providing four new theatres, day case assessment areas and a recovery area, enabling the Trust to carry out over 3,000 additional low complexity procedures per annum in specialties such as musculoskeletal health, urology, surgery and some cardiothoracic services.
Construction of the Day Treatment Centre commenced lawfully under the emergency permitted development rights available to health bodies during the pandemic. This facilitated the Trust’s accelerated design and build programme, and enabled the project to be designed and delivered in under 38 weeks. DPP liaised closely with the LPA throughout the initial feasibility and construction stages to ensure the proposals were within allowances of the emergency permitted development rights and that construction could commence immediately.
The emergency permitted development rights were initially due to expire in December 2021, but due to the ongoing pressures of the pandemic were subsequently extended by the Government to December 2022. DPP liaised with the LPA regarding the compliance of the proposals with the emergency permitted development rights and confirmed that the LPA’s position and understanding on the emergency legislation reflected that of DPP. Given that the Government had extended the emergency rights once previously, there was potential for a further extension or for introduction of new provisions to allow for retention of buildings constructed under these emergency permitted development rights. However, this was by no means guaranteed, and it was agreed with the LPA that a full planning application be submitted to secure the retention of the building in perpetuity.
DPP continued to liaise with the LPA on behalf of the Trust, and sought feedback on the design proposals to limit risk related to the future planning application and ensure appropriate survey work was carried out. DPP subsequently prepared, submitted and managed a planning application for the retention of the Day Treatment Centre on expiry of the emergency permitted development rights.
Following positive collaboration with the LPA throughout the determination period, the application was granted unanimously by Planning Committee.
Image: Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust