WORK on housing for medical students and health staff at Furness General Hospital looks set to start in spring 2008
The 22 flats on a field on the edge of the hospital site off Abbey Road, Barrow, were recently approved by councillors.
Tony Halsall, chief executive of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, told the Evening Mail of the benefits of the new housing.
Mr Halsall said: The trust is delighted to have been granted planning permission for two residential blocks in the grounds of FGH. The accommodation will be used for the increasing numbers of medical students and other NHS staff based at the hospital.
Such a facility would help the hospital recruit and retain key staff, to ensure we continue to provide the right services to the local population in the Furness area. We anticipate that work will start on site in spring 2008 and should take approximately 12 months to complete.
Mr Halsall says subject to completion of contract talks, Frontis will build the accommodation. He says it will then be rented to the trust, returning to its ownership after a set time.
Nearby residents formally objected to the proposed housing during the planning stages.
The biggest worry was about extra traffic increasing the risk of accidents. But Barrow Borough Council planning officials reported that the county highways officer had advised that road safety would not be reduced.
And a majority of the council’s planning committee went on to approve the proposed housing at its meeting on November 27. Councillor Eric Wood, who chaired the committee, said: It is important to Barrow because they are one of the biggest employers in town and we want to continue that and make it a centre of excellence for training in the National Health (Service).