NHS Grampian key worker homes plan recommended for refusal

NHS Grampian homes - view of internal streetPlans for a housing development which aims to attract key health workers to the north-east have been recommended for refusal by Aberdeen councillors.

NHS Grampian lodged proposals with Aberdeen City Council late last year to create 110 homes on the former nurses’ accommodation complex at Foresterhill Court at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Drafted in conjunction with Grampian Housing Association and designed by Halliday Fraser Munro, the proposed key worker accommodation would not only be used for NHS staff but for emergency workers and teachers.

But a report by Aberdeen City Council planning officers outlines the impact on green space and the character of the area as among reasons to reject the development.

An NHS Grampian spokeswoman told the Evening Express: “We are deeply disappointed by the recommendation of Aberdeen City Council officers.

“It is no secret the high cost of living in Aberdeen is having an impact on our ability to recruit and retain staff.

“This, in turn, is having an impact on our ability to properly serve the health needs of the local population.”

She added: “Both NHS Grampian and Grampian Housing Association have written directly to elected members to outline our position.

“We hope they will consider this information carefully prior to their meeting next week.”

The project, which would have seen the existing NHS staff building demolished, was hoped to be completed by the winter of 2017.

View of shared surface courtyard
View of shared surface courtyard

Councillors will decide whether or not to give the development the go ahead at the planning development management committee meeting on Thursday.

In its reasons for the recommendation the report states: “The proposed development would by reason of its scale, siting, and quantum of the development result in the loss of open space, urban green space.”

It added it would harm the quality of the landscape and adversely affect the character of the area.

Craig Stirrat, director of business development at Grampian Housing Association, said: “It is extremely disappointing that Aberdeen City Council’s planning officers are recommending refusal of our joint development with NHS Grampian at Foresterhill Court.

“In particular, the development would help NHS Grampian address its staffing shortage which is linked to the lack of affordable housing within the city for key workers.”

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