Friday, 23 July 2021

Hospital should be in use by March

THE new Townlands Hospital in Henley should be ready for use in March

THE new Townlands Hospital in Henley should be ready for use in March.

The hospital, which is part of a £16million “health campus” in York Road, is due to be handed over to NHS Property Services in the first week of February.

There will be then be a four-week “decant” period in which services are moved from the current hospital to the new building.

A meeting of the Townlands Steering Group on Monday heard that the hospital should have been delivered in November but that there had been problems with workmen.

Project director Mike Leto, of Amber Infrastructure, said: “We have struggled sometimes to get the right quality of trades, primarily with bricklaying and plastering.”

The current hospital will be demolished to make way for car parking and there will be temporary parking solution until the summer.

“At the end of the summer the whole facility should be completed, including the care home.

“I accept it’s slightly late but we can say confidently we’re almost there. What we haven’t seen is any degradation of quality in what is going to be produced. When we first designed this building we wanted a lot of natural light in the facility and we have achieved that.

“We’re really pleased with the quality of the facilities. All the facilities and utilities are in there now and we’re going through a period of commissioning.

“We’re testing the facilities and making sure it all works for handover.”

The campus will also include 34 “independent living properties” for people over 55 that will be sold on the open market and 12 key worker dwellings.

Amber took over this part of the project from Wallingford firm Beechcroft Developments and amended the plans to include more green space and an underground car park as well as erecting one building instead of two.

The Grade II listed workhouse and the schoolhouse and the Range will be refurbished and then the accommodation block will then be built opposite the schoolhouse.

Mr Leto said this work would begin in the second half of this year and would take about a year to complete. Amber hopes to receive approval of its amended application next month and then to begin marketing the properties via estate agents Davis Tate.

Mr Leto added: “We want this to be an exemplar scheme and we’re certainly willing to invest a bit more money.”

Amber had hoped for a simultaneous build but Mr Leto said that due to the constraints of the site and “technical issues” it was decided to finish the hospital and care home and then concentrate on the residential development.

Mr Leto also said the new Maurice Tate community room would be available to use before the old one was demolished.

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