"St James hospital is a well known and loved area in Milton, enjoyed by patients and residents alike. The green open spaces have been tended lovingly by patients for over 100 years and enjoyed by local people for recreational purposes. Now we face the daunting prospect of losing this gorgeous space forever. Plans have been submitted over two applications to change the hospital into two large-scale residential developments. Phase One is suggesting adding 107 properties to the east of the site. Phase Two (which includes the main hospital building) is suggesting no less than 209 properties. This could lead to a huge net increase in the population of Milton and bring with it significant problems.
"Road junctions in the area are already full to bursting. The increase in traffic, & therefore, pollution is something that will contribute towards reducing our air quality at a time when we desperately need to improve it. Issues already exist with people trying to obtain a doctor’s or dentist appointment.
"The loss of this precious green open space would be detrimental to our physical and mental health. This is compounded by the awful news that 57 trees will be felled (with 55 of them being healthy). The little chapel that has loyally served the hospital is proposed to be converted to apartments with drastic changes to its stunning windows and a loss of a real part of the history of the site. Please sign the petition to lodge your objection towards these unimaginative and destructive plans."
As local Lib Dems, we are opposing these applications for the following reasons:
- Green Space. Although the cricket pitch, club house and changing rooms are kept, the application includes the loss of the garden to south of the chapel as well as to the green space to the north of the chapel.
- Trees. The plans include felling 53 trees which are listed as having Tree Protection Orders.
- Roads. The scheme puts 344 more cars on local roads. The developers have ignored suggestions about boosting buses and cycling on site.
- Design. The blocky homes proposed bear no relation to the current buildings or the nearby terraced houses off Locksway Road.
- Renewable Energy. There are no plans to include renewable energy or other key sustainability items.
- Affordable Housing. Earlier versions of the scheme had affordable housing levels way below council policies. We do not know how many are in the final plans as those details are not public at the time of writing.
- Neighbourhood Planning. The Milton Neighbourhood Planning Forum has been working hard over the past 5 years to create an alternative vision for the local area. This application ignores the key pillars of the Neighbourhood Plan which is less than a year away from being official policy.
- The Chapel. The plans punch dormer windows into the Chapel roof and remove glass in the window frames to create flats that are not needed; a disgrace to what could be a fine community building.