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Redevelopment of Rushden Hospital Site

Volume 532: debated on Wednesday 7 September 2011

The Humble Petition of residents of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,


that the proposed revised redevelopment of the Rushden Hospital site for housing is unpopular, ill-advised and detrimental to the residents of Rushden; that over 25% of the residents of Rushden petitioned the House of Commons for a new outpatient facility in the town, the majority wanting the new facility on the Rushden hospital site; that the proposal to build housing on the site instead of an NHS facility is unacceptable and the impact on the surrounding roads of a large housing development and the density of the development and the proposed cut through to the Greenacre Drive Estate is wholly detrimental to local residents and notes that a similar proposal for housing development on this site was not approved by East Northamptonshire District Council.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to urge the Department of Health to withdraw the revised planning application and further urges him to request that the District Council of East Northamptonshire and the County Council and the Primary Care Trust work together to provide a suitable health facility on the site.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr Peter Bone, Official Report, 5 July 2011; Vol. 530, c. 1481 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is aware that a planning application has been submitted to East Northamptonshire District Council by the Department for Health. He is advised that the application was validated 4 June 2010 is pending determination.

East Northamptonshire District Council is responsible for the day-to-day development management matters in that area. It would be inappropriate for the Secretary of State to intervene in respect of any planning application which is with a local planning authority for consideration.

Furthermore, it would not be appropriate for the Secretary of State to intervene in health service provision matters. These decisions fall within the purview of the Secretary of State for Health.

There is a statutory framework in place to ensure that local planning authorities publicise the planning applications that are submitted to them, and have regard to any representations that they receive on those applications from members of the community and others.

In determining any planning application the local planning authority are required to have regard the development plan for the area, so far as it is material to the application being considered, and to any other material considerations.

While the Secretary of State does have powers to “call-in” a planning application for his own determination, if he considers that it raises matters of more than local importance, his policy is to be very selective about this. The Secretary of State has not been asked to call this particular application in.

As it is possible that this proposal may, at some future date, come within his jurisdiction (for example in the event of a planning appeal), it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific issues raised in the petition.