On Thursday July 21, Rother District Council’s planning committee considered an NHS application to build a 54-bed inpatient mental health facility on land off Mount View Street.
While the land had previously been set aside for housing and employment, the project was nevertheless recommended for approval by planning officers due to its “significant social benefit”.
This point of view was shared by the members of the committee, who unanimously approved the project.
The application was approved in a hybrid form, with full planning permission for construction of the first phase of the facility and in-principle (outline) permission for further expansion. Although not part of the application at this stage, other land adjoining the site is also earmarked for long-term development under the same facility.
It’s part of a national push to move away from providing mental health beds in dormitories – a practice the government wants to phase out by March 2024. While the Department of Psychiatry is the largest facility hospital in East Sussex, its facilities are also dormitories. based.
In addition to this, the facility is leased to East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust – the body responsible for both DGH and Conquest Hospital – and Sussex Partnership, the trust responsible for mental health services, has been asked to vacate the premises by 2026.
The program is expected to be built by March 2024, at a cost of around £46million.
According to SPFT: “This ‘campus’ approach would allow us to develop a world-class center for mental health services that will allow us to respond as effectively as possible to the changing needs of local populations and achieve exceptional results for patients.
“This center of excellence will also allow us to attract and retain the best employees and provide excellent teaching and research opportunities for our doctors, nurses and other clinicians.
For more information, see Application Reference RR/2022/1246/P on the Rother District Council website.