Havens face six day planning inquiry

First published in News

THE battle to build a £15million hospice on green belt land will be decided at a six-day public inquiry.

Government planning inspectors have pencilled in the lengthy hearing, which is expected to take place later this year, to reach a final verdict on Havens Hospices’ bid to build on land off Belton Way West, Leigh.

The proposals were rejected by Southend Council last year, but the charity has now officially lodged its appeal against the decision with Whitehall.

Mike King, chairman of campaign group Save Our Green Belt, said objectors would gear up to oppose the plans again.

He said: “It is baffling why Havens continues to push this loony idea, when it has attracted so much opposition.

“They are seriously damaging the credibility of what is a very worthy cause set up for all the right reasons.

“We will sit down and put together our case against these crazy proposals.”

Havens wants to build a new 16-bedroom base for its Fair Havens hospice because it believes the current facility, in Westcliff, is too cramped.

It fears it could be shut down by the Care Quality Commission in future years if it does not move to more suitable purpose-built premises.

But councillors accused the charity of using “emotional blackmail” to try to secure planning permission for the protected site, in Leigh, and voted unanimously to reject the proposals in October.

Havens vowed to appeal the decision immediately.

The Planning Inspectorate aims to resolve most public inquiries within 29 weeks, meaning the hearing is likely to be held before the end of July.

Both Havens and the council could demand the other pay their legal costs if they win, although most applications are not successful unless one party is seen to have acted “frivolously”.

Andy Smith, the chief executive of Havens, said: “We have not taken the decision to go to appeal lightly, but we are in a critical position.

“There is an urgent need for our specialist care; care we alone are wholly dedicated to provide.

“Going to appeal will mean that our plans will be considered by an independent planning inspector, who will make a decision following a thorough examination of the facts and evidence presented in our application, the needs of our patients and families, our extensive site search and the lack of any suitably alternative site.”

Comments (11)

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10:15am Tue 15 Jan 13

Eric Whim says...

no more building on green belt land until all brownfield sites have been used up!

Once it's gone it's gone.
no more building on green belt land until all brownfield sites have been used up! Once it's gone it's gone. Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

10:59am Tue 15 Jan 13

wagger says...

When will Andy Smith see sense, he states 'There is an urgent need for our specialist care....'
No one is denying this, and there are many other brown field sites where this could be provided.
What we do NOT want is a huge office complex and associated parking for over 80 vehicles on 7 acres of wonderful green belt land.
There must be an ulterior motive regarding this development, big money is at stake !
When will Andy Smith see sense, he states 'There is an urgent need for our specialist care....' No one is denying this, and there are many other brown field sites where this could be provided. What we do NOT want is a huge office complex and associated parking for over 80 vehicles on 7 acres of wonderful green belt land. There must be an ulterior motive regarding this development, big money is at stake ! wagger
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Tue 15 Jan 13

heartbeat says...

How ridiculous and also how tragic. I feel so sorry for people who support Haven's only to have their money wasted like this.

My family stopped giving all our "cast-offs" to Havens when the hard-sell started - every time I walked through the door with a bag of old clothes, books etc. etc. I was asked if I would sign up to some monthly donation scheme. It left a sour taste in my mouth, as I came out feeling as though I was considered "mean" for not signing up. Like many people, I already have various causes I support and I really don't welcome being made to feel mean when I give a bag of clothes to Haven's. It's not the fault of the staff who work in the shop - it is obvious they have been told to maximise finances by asking (embarrassing ?) people to pledge a regular donation.

I went to another charity shop last time and my bags of cast-offs were greeted with such gratitude and thanks, and no expectation of me signing up to a monthly payment.

Haven's is a hardnosed business, of that I am sure! And of course like any business it needs to do it's best to make money and survive, but annoying and angering local people by constantly denying the possibility of improving a brownfield site, and wasting council-tax payers' money by taking this to yet another appeal is disgusting as far as I am concerned.

There will be people who are having their charitable donations to Havens disappear down the drain due to this appeal, and those same people will be paying Southend Council's legal bill for fighing Haven's out of their council tax. Talk about a "Lose-Lose" situation!

I feel so sorry for the amazing, hardworking staff of Haven's to be caught up in all this financial/emotional manipulation and posturing.
How ridiculous and also how tragic. I feel so sorry for people who support Haven's only to have their money wasted like this. My family stopped giving all our "cast-offs" to Havens when the hard-sell started - every time I walked through the door with a bag of old clothes, books etc. etc. I was asked if I would sign up to some monthly donation scheme. It left a sour taste in my mouth, as I came out feeling as though I was considered "mean" for not signing up. Like many people, I already have various causes I support and I really don't welcome being made to feel mean when I give a bag of clothes to Haven's. It's not the fault of the staff who work in the shop - it is obvious they have been told to maximise finances by asking (embarrassing ?) people to pledge a regular donation. I went to another charity shop last time and my bags of cast-offs were greeted with such gratitude and thanks, and no expectation of me signing up to a monthly payment. Haven's is a hardnosed business, of that I am sure! And of course like any business it needs to do it's best to make money and survive, but annoying and angering local people by constantly denying the possibility of improving a brownfield site, and wasting council-tax payers' money by taking this to yet another appeal is disgusting as far as I am concerned. There will be people who are having their charitable donations to Havens disappear down the drain due to this appeal, and those same people will be paying Southend Council's legal bill for fighing Haven's out of their council tax. Talk about a "Lose-Lose" situation! I feel so sorry for the amazing, hardworking staff of Haven's to be caught up in all this financial/emotional manipulation and posturing. heartbeat
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Tue 15 Jan 13

andyh says...

Havens have been saying that there is no other suitable site. To be fair to them I would suggest that it is indeed important to their function for there to be pleasant views from the location.

There is now an possible site becoming available between Hockley and Rayleigh … no I'm not suggesting the use of a prison, but when it is demolished it would seem to make a very suitable site.
Havens have been saying that there is no other suitable site. To be fair to them I would suggest that it is indeed important to their function for there to be pleasant views from the location. There is now an possible site becoming available between Hockley and Rayleigh … no I'm not suggesting the use of a prison, but when it is demolished it would seem to make a very suitable site. andyh
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Tue 15 Jan 13

j-w says...

Good point andy!
Good point andy! j-w
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Tue 15 Jan 13

WhateverS says...

They have hit the self destruct button with this egotistical self promoting twit no one in there right mind would support this charity
They have hit the self destruct button with this egotistical self promoting twit no one in there right mind would support this charity WhateverS
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Keptquiettillnow says...

I have said before, when my mother needed care they where first class, and I have never hesitated to sponsor them. But since this has been going on there is no more money from me.
Its all in the hands of the independent planning inspector.
I have said before, when my mother needed care they where first class, and I have never hesitated to sponsor them. But since this has been going on there is no more money from me. Its all in the hands of the independent planning inspector. Keptquiettillnow
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Tue 15 Jan 13

GentleGiant says...

I would urge everyone to stop giving any money to Havens - only when they are starved of donations might they rethink their crazy scheme.
I would urge everyone to stop giving any money to Havens - only when they are starved of donations might they rethink their crazy scheme. GentleGiant
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Tue 15 Jan 13

firedog says...

Green belt or human lives,given comfort as they die.No contest, except from the heartless people on this forum.The money they are having to use is from a seperate account that was donated for that purpose.I bet you call yourselves
christians.
Green belt or human lives,given comfort as they die.No contest, except from the heartless people on this forum.The money they are having to use is from a seperate account that was donated for that purpose.I bet you call yourselves christians. firedog
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Nebs says...

firedog wrote:
Green belt or human lives,given comfort as they die.No contest, except from the heartless people on this forum.The money they are having to use is from a seperate account that was donated for that purpose.I bet you call yourselves
christians.
There are more options than just Green Belt or Human Lives.
[quote][p][bold]firedog[/bold] wrote: Green belt or human lives,given comfort as they die.No contest, except from the heartless people on this forum.The money they are having to use is from a seperate account that was donated for that purpose.I bet you call yourselves christians.[/p][/quote]There are more options than just Green Belt or Human Lives. Nebs
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Letmetryagain says...

If Havens go ahead with this, they will certainly lose a lot of support. With a lot of corporate funding drying up.

The idea of using the Bullwood Hall site seems sound, although I expect there are already plans for that. More executive houses I suspect ?
If Havens go ahead with this, they will certainly lose a lot of support. With a lot of corporate funding drying up. The idea of using the Bullwood Hall site seems sound, although I expect there are already plans for that. More executive houses I suspect ? Letmetryagain
  • Score: 0

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