To try to get to grips with the proposed development of student flats in Vinery Road, On Friday 28th November Dave toured the Brookfields site with a leading NHS official to identify their thoughts on the whole Brookfield site. Dave argued for them to take the NHS site on Vinery Road into their portfolio and to provide a development brief for the whole site that also includes the coop and mosque areas.
Local politicians will soon face another difficult decision following news that a NHS site in Vinery Road will be sold for redevelopment as student accommodation.
Agents acting on behalf of the NHS have revealed that early discussions with council officers indicate that this site is available for student accommodation.
Under softer planning laws approved by the LibDems in association with the Tories, the Vinery Road site is apparently to be treated as ‘windfall’ and this is behind the NHS decision to cash in on the most profitable way of selling their land – with planning permission for student flats.
Local labour activist Anna Smith is concerned that site, which actually joins to the Brookfields site, will be developed as a one off build and result in the start of a piecemeal development as has happened in Cromwell Rd where blocks of flats have been built without any consideration for local needs and residents. Anna is calling for the NHS to slow down and provide a development brief for discussion of the whole area, which includes the Mosque, plans by McClarens to build accommodation for 300 students on the Coop site and Brookfields, which is already subject for redevelopment in the draft for the new City Plan (R21).
However it appears that the cash strapped NHS, already suffering from cuts by the LibDem supported Government are rushing ahead to gain a ‘windfall’ cash bonus from this site as soon as possible and our calls for a more measured view that will take into account the whole area will not be followed.