Friday, 13 March 2009

Garston Hospital plans - update

I have just heard from a local resident and campaigner that the application to "spot list" the Garston Hospital building has been rejected. Had the building been listed the PCT were talking about taking their development plans elsewhere (although I am not sure how viable that would have been given the lack of suitable sites elsewhere). What this means is that the PCT still needs planning approval for its plans at the hospital, but that these won't be affected by any listing of the building (although people may still be commenting on other aspects).

I imagine a lot of people will be upset by this as the outside of this building is a significant Garston landmark. Work has been going on to try to incorporate historial aspects into the design, but there is no getting away from the fact that the plans for this building look very different to the old hospital.It may be that there is more that can be suggested, asked for, lobbied for etc but we now also need to concentrate on ensuring that the health improvements do go ahead (particularly in the current financial situation where PFI deals are becoming more and more difficult to obtain)


PM Swimmer said...


What are your views on this?
You represent the area which will be affected if not the exact ward (council ward boudaries are lets face it rather arbitrary).
My view (professional as well as personal) is that character, age, position and quality of some buildings has an impact on the regeneration, economic and community potential of a surrounding area.
An example might be the Cunard building, if viewed critically its not that special architecturally but the impact of its removal on the surrounding environment would be massive. Garston Hospital is the only remaining significant landmark building of its era in Garston therefore its removal is a massive issue.

I've commented before on my views on what damage this could do Garstons potential regeneration and long term prosperity and I'd be keen to hear your views. I'd also like to know if the Council administration has a view and if you know the stance of the other parties.
I assume Labour will be for it as it will be funded from one of their insane PFI schemes?

I would also like to know whether, if this project is part of a PFI scheme, the planners can put a condition on the planning permission that no demolition can take place until all funding is secured to ensure the project is delivered? It would be bad enough to loose this building but to end up with a similar situtation to Josephine Butler House or the Baltic Triangle where the existing building is demolished only for there to be no cash to build anything.
I do think there should be the ability to levy a penalty to developers in this situation for the inconvience and hardship faced by the community (which if you were trying to sell could be very real) when this happens.

Anonymous said...

Why does Garston have to lose its iconic building when the same private organisation that will build and run the new Garston Hospital won an award for its conservation of Litherland Town Hall where similar facilities to those proposed for Gasrton have been built

Paula Keaveney said...

I know about the Litherland building. Sadly that argument has cut no ice with the PCT people.

The application still needs to go to planning committee and members of the public are entitled to make obections. I don;t have the date for the planning committee but will post when I do.

Paula Keaveney said...

My views - I would rather the frontage of the building could be retained and any building work go on behind this. I also don't believe that the consultation the PCT carried out fully alerted people to the implications of changes to the building fabric as from memory the paperwork and discussions focused in on the services suggested. However all these arguments have been tried out repeatedly with the PCT bods who have seemed to be pretty intransigent all along.

I am going to post/comment more about this later.

Anonymous said...

I for one want a brand new hospital not something that was built when Quenn Victoria was on the throne!

PM Swimmer said...

hmm anonymous, why?

Do you refuse to use your toilet or taps? what about trainlines, bridges, universities, museums, schools, civic buildings, 3 graces?
By your standard we should leave Liverpool entirely after all the city only really exists in its present form due to the growth generated in the days of empire and has been declining in population numbers, wealth and importance ever since?

On the hospital surely the extrernal fabric of the building has no impact on your treatment? or do you believe that some form of new-building inspired feng-shui influence is the main reason for getting better? There are certainly healthcare benefits from our environment though generally that is from being able to see mature trees and green spaces from hospital beds and this proposal won't give us those.

I would urge you to look around at the recent performance of government Pfi schemes and then tell me if you really want Garston to be saddled with a huge new eddifice built by the lowest possible private sector bidder, out of the lowest quality materials, rented back to the PCT at exorbitant rates, which they won't ever own and in which every single piece of maintainance and repair will legally have to be carried out by that same company at over-inflated prices with no thought or concern of clinical care.

Personally I predict delivery of a poorly constructed cheap building, which will be hugely energy inefficient, whose materials and finishing will degrade quickly to create surfaces and cracks which harbour dirt and bacteria and which will require repairs costing so much that the PCT will be forced to make decisions between repair of the building or clinical care.
Oh and we will have lost one of the few attractive landmark buildings in the area with a knock on impact on regeneration and economic prosperity.

Doom and gloom, certainly but based on the history of PFI schemes not one without basis in reality

Why can't we take more time and have more consultation on this? Once this building is gone it can never be put back and the community and citys residents will have to live with and ultimately pay for whats put in its place. Not the PCT managers, developers or in even councillors.