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Council applies for judicial review of hospital extension planning approval after decision taken under delegated powers, not by committee

Worcester City Council has applied for a judicial review in relation to a previously approved planning application for the relocation and expansion of the Emergency Department at its local hospital.

Plans for the multi-million-pound development were submitted in April 2021 and approved using delegated powers in September of this year.

However, the decision should have been referred to committee. In addition, the council failed to impose a noise limit condition as requested by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

A new application for planning permission has meanwhile been lodged for the same plans.

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Planning documents suggest the application was resubmitted to avoid delaying the project, as it is "likely to be several months before the litigation is concluded".

The document notes the application is accompanied by the same supporting information submitted with the original application.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said the city council had notified them that the plans would have to be reconsidered due to a "procedural issue".

The resubmitted plans are currently in a consultation stage which is due to end on 26 November. The plans are scheduled to be considered by Worcester's planning committee.

Matthew Hopkins, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said the development of the new urgent and emergency care unit "is continuing as planned, with the first patients due to be treated there by the end of 2022".

He added: "We have been notified by the council that due to a procedural issue our application for planning permission has to be formally reconsidered by the planning committee. We remain focussed on delivering this important development for the benefit of our patients and our staff."

A Worcester City Council spokesman said: "We cannot comment on the judicial review as it an active legal process. The new application from Worcestershire Royal Hospital will be brought before the Planning Committee at the earliest opportunity."

Adam Carey

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