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£15m work to build 220 homes for Grimsby hospital staff could start in July

WORK on multi-million pound plans to build almost 220 homes for Grimsby hospital staff is expected to get underway in just two months time.

£15m work to build 220 homes for Grimsby hospital staff could start in July

The trust than runs the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Scartho Road has, after a planning stage spanning almost two years, finally signed off the huge plans and submitted a final application to North East Lincolnshire Council.

Once given the green light by council planners, North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (Nlag) say they are ready to go ahead with the construction of the "critically" needed staff accommodation.

It is hoped that work can begin as soon as July on the 96 student bedrooms and 125 staff apartments and shared club house, after initial plans were first submitted by Nlag back in 2015.

The Trust, which has struggled to recruit and retain highly skilled health care professionals to work at the hospital, hopes that by replacing the existing accommodation on site, the new student houses and apartments will go some way towards improving the recruitment package.

As reported in October 2015, the proposals for brand new accommodation for student nurses and doctors were submitted alongside drastic plans to transform the hospital's Scartho Road site, by additionally building retirement living apartments, an assisted living unit and a "step-down" care facility.

The proposals have been scaled down since, following public consultation and subsequent amendments, but the staff accommodation alone has a budget of £15 million.

And now, after making several tweaks to planning application conditions, which include drainage and complex construction issues, a final construction phase plan has been submitted to the council for approval.

In that document, Kier Construction, who have been tasked with building the new student accommodation, say they want to start building the 200 plus new homes in mid July.

If all goes to plan, they could be built by November or December 2017.

Situated off Jupiter Way and Laurel Close, the homes would be a mix of two, three and four-bedroomed properties and apartments. The Trust would also aim to rent a number on a long-term basis for staff and their families, allowing them to live close to the hospital.

Its existing residential accommodation is more than 30 years old and "in a poor state", according to Nlag.

Jug Johal, director of estates and facilities at Nlag, said: "The development of this land will allow us to build much-needed new accommodation for our clinical staff, which is usually a very important consideration for doctors and nurses in this country and abroad who are looking for new jobs.

"Having premium new apartments available as part of our recruitment package will help us attract and retain new people to Grimsby hospital and retain them.

"Students are more likely to want to come and train with us if we are able to offer them a place to live that is modern, comfortable and convenient."

The proposals were not discussed at the council's latest planning committee meeting, held yesterday, but could be discussed at June's meeting. The current status of the application on the council's website is "pending consideration".

There is no indication as to when work could start on building the retirement living apartments, an assisted living unit and a "step-down" care facility.

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson, said: "The application is still under consultation, following the normal planning process, so no date has yet been determined in terms of a deadline for a decision."

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