Hospital does not have to be in St Helier, says minister

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In September an update was given on the progress of the Our Hospital project and when news of a preferred site would be announced.

At the time it was said £7.4 million would be spent between then and March 2021 – the target date for a fresh planning application. The announcement also revealed that it would be 12 months before a site for the new hospital would be named.

Health Minister Richard Renouf has given a brief update on the situation stating the process is on track, but he said it was too early to say if any sites had been ruled out.

He said: ‘I believe everything is on track with regards to the programme that the Chief Minister set out. We haven’t got to the point of ruling out sites yet.

‘The hospital doesn’t necessarily have to be in St Helier but we can’t say yet one way or the other.’

Earlier this month, Housing Minister Sam Mézec told a Scrutiny hearing that the process of identifying locations for new homes was being frustrated as there were certain sites around the Island that were tied up in the hospital process.

He said the St Saviour’s Hospital site was obviously not going to be used for a new hospital, so it should be made available to build houses on. A report published earlier this year said the Island needed to build more than 2,700 homes by 2021.

Deputy Renouf added: ‘It is a balancing act and I do understand the minister’s frustrations.’

When an update was given on the project in September, Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham said that each week the hospital project was delayed would cost the public purse an additional £100,000.

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