Concerned residents launch fight against plans to demolish and rebuild Monkwearmouth hospital
Residents living near Monkwearmouth hospital have launched a community action group and petition against plans to demolish and rebuild the historic Monkwearmouth hospital.
A group of Monkwearmouth residents have set up a community action group to fight plans to demolish and rebuild Monkwearmouth hospital on Newcastle Road.
Plans for the NHS Foundation Trust hospital, which was donated by shipbuilder and businessman Sir John Priestman in 1930, involve demolishing the building which will be rebuilt over two years.
The hospital will still be host to existing NHS services but a new front door, reception area, offices, workspace, meeting space and a replacement café will be built.
A feedback period for the work by Monkwearmouth Development Ltd has been extended until July, 30 after an online consultation.
Chair of the group, Mick Phyall who lives on Zion Terrace said: “I feel like residents have been left in the dark with no clarity about how we go about negotiating – we’ve asked for a face-to-face consultation to clear up any issues but this has been rejected.
"The consultation itself was just an individual chat box online, there has been no consideration or negotiation with residents.”
The action group say they feel the demolition of the historic building is unnecessary and a refurbishment should be considered.
Co-chair of the group, Joanne Roulstone who lives on Zion Terrace said: “We feel developers are not considering the thoughts of residents, I can’t understand why the building isn’t being renovated because external work has already gone ahead – the building has heritage and people love it.
"We also have concerns about the environmental factors, the effects of demolishing the building will be significant on the environment.”
Residents are also unhappy that bigger car park is planned for the site.
Secretary of the group Tracey Younger, a resident on Zion Terrace said: “We’ve had trouble with parking and traffic previously and I’m dreading the misery of having more cars, more people and more noise in a pleasant residential area. These plans will demolish history.”
The team of residents say they plan to fight the proposals.
Joanne added: “We are not prepared to accept this and residents are anxious about it all, we have no trust in the developers and there is no empathy for residents.”
A spokesperson for Monkwearmouth Development Ltd said the development team is committed to ongoing discussions with the community following their their web-based consultation.
The developers say work to create a more ‘welcoming’ front door cannot be done by retaining the existing façade and the main building, in its current form “fails to provide the necessary levels of welfare and amenity”.
The spokesperson added: “We have made ourselves available at every opportunity to discuss this project and respond to concerns. We will continue to do so, and we can be reached at [email protected]
“We welcome all comments, and review feedback regularly.”
James Duncan, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Finance at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust is exploring options to redevelop the Monkwearmouth site, replacing old inefficient buildings that are no longer fit for purpose, with state of the art, modern facilities for service users and staff, in the heart of the Monkwearmouth community.”