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Airedale Hospital’s A&E plans criticised
9:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
The hospital trust hopes that the new, larger facility will help reduce waiting times – in the past year the number of patients waiting at A&E more than four hours rose by 265 per cent.
Last month it submitted a planning application to Bradford Council for the demolition of the existing A&E unit and construction of a much larger one in its place.
The cost of the new building has been estimated as being between £4 and £6 million.
But the plans have not been universally welcomed, and a number of the hospital’s neighbours have already written to the council to ask for the expansion to be refused.
One said it would devalue his house and would expose residents to abusive patients, while others have criticised plans for a large, lit up “Emergency” sign on the building. And some fear that patients at the new facility would be able to see into their homes from hospital windows.
Steeton Parish Council has also criticised the application.
A letter from the council to planning officers says: “The development will have a detrimental effect on the amenity of neighbouring residential properties, including noise caused by vehicle movements, staff and patients, exterior lighting and invasion of privacy as homes are clearly visible from inside the A&E unit and onsite security cameras.”
One bone of contention among residents is a large “Emergency” sign.
David Parker, a resident of neighbouring Styveton Way, said: “The emergency sign is far too large and will impact on the surrounding area, especially when illuminated. The hospital is in a rural setting, not an inner city shopping mall.”
Stephen Parkinson, from the same road, said: “When we moved here we accepted the fact that there was the hospital, but we now find the plans to extend both upwards and outwards will affect our privacy even more when we are already subjected to outbursts from drunk and disorderly patients.
“There is absolutely no doubt that the proposed plans, if passed, will devalue our property.”
John Pugh, also from Styveton Way, is not opposed to the expansion, but feels the large sign is excessive.
He adds: “The application suggests it will assist new patients locate the department more easily, but it is not a hotel trying to attract passing trade. We are concerned about the degree of illumination that will intrude into our property.”
Bradford Council aims to decide on the application by the end of September.
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