Health Minister Andrew Green and Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel are to be asked by the Future Hospital Review Panel about the £466 million scheme at a public hearing on 26 February.
The hearing comes after the project suffered yet another setback last month when Environment Minister Steve Luce rejected a planning application to build the new facility on the current site, extending onto Kensington Place, because of the scale and mass of the proposals.
Despite growing calls from some politicians and Islanders for the site for the new facility to be re-evaluated, Senator Green and Deputy Noel said in an open letter published in the JEP last week that building the facility anywhere but St Helier ‘makes no sense at all’. He added that the ‘right approach’ is to allow the project team to press ahead with the proposals to build on the current site.
Senator Green has also suggested that the concerns flagged up by Deputy Luce and the independent UK planning inspector could be resolved by constructing the hospital in two phases – with the first phase extending to Kensington Place and the second phase building on land cleared following the transfer of services into the new facility. The chairman of the panel, Deputy Simon Brée, said: ‘I think it’s important that we meet with both ministers in public to discuss with them what happens next. This is a matter which has attracted a lot of public and media attention and it’s only right that the panel, having undertaken a review on the matter, seeks clarification from the ministerial team on the way forward.’
The hearing is scheduled for Monday 26 February at 2 pm in the Blampied room in the States Building.