Agenda and draft minutes

Chase Farm Hospital Site, Planning Panel - Wednesday, 7th January, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Highlands Secondary School, 148 Worlds End Lane, London N21 1QQ

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No. Item



            i)          Purpose of the meeting.


ii)         Introduction of Applicant’s representatives and Officers of the Council.




1.   Councillor Simon as Chair welcomed all attendees and introduced the Panel Members.


2.   The purpose of the meeting was to receive a briefing on the proposals, to provide local residents and other interested parties the opportunity to ask questions about the application and for the applicants, officers and Panel Members to listen to the reactions and comments. These views, and all the written representations made, would be taken into account when the application was determined by the Planning Committee.


3.   This was not a decision-making meeting. A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee in February.


      Post Meeting Note: It is now anticipated that a decision on the application will be made by the full Planning Committee on Thursday 12 March 2015.



Additional documents:




Andy Higham, (Enfield Council Head of Development Management) introduced officers present and highlighted the following points:


1.   This Planning Panel meeting was an important part of the consultation process. Notes were being taken and would be appended to the report to the Planning Committee.


2.   This was an outline planning application, seeking to establish the principles of the uses and development of the site. Matters of detailed design and layout were not for consideration at this stage. The application included details of the location within the site of the proposed new hospital, school and residential development. Indicative plans had been provided to demonstrate how the quantity of development proposed might be accommodated on the site. There would be further consultation in future on the detailed layout and form of development.


3.   The Planning Committee could consider material planning issues. The key issues included:

  The principle of the mix of uses proposed on the site and the identification of future expansion space for hospital facilities.

  The principle of demolition of buildings on the site.

  The quantity, scale and height of development proposed.

  Traffic implications.

  The principle of the points of vehicle and pedestrian access to the site.

  The provision of affordable housing and mix of residential development proposed.

  The phasing of development and timescale of delivery and construction.

  The provision of temporary facilities for the new school within the Green Belt.


4.    The Committee could not consider matters of detailed design, or services which the hospital would provide.


5.   The consultation period would be extended by another week. If residents had further comments, these should be sent to the Council by Thursday 15 January to be included in the report to Planning Committee.






Andrew Panniker (Director of Capital & Estates, The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust) introduced representatives of the applicant present and set out the proposals as follows:


1.   The application was submitted in November 2014 for outline planning permission with reserved matters. This meeting was part of the consultation process and they would be learning from comments made.


2.   The Royal Free London acquired Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals in July 2014. They had then started consultation with local stakeholders for delivery of a new Chase Farm Hospital. The clinical vision would be delivered and the timescale was on track.


3.   Phasing of development would be key, and all services currently on site at Chase Farm Hospital would be maintained in operation.


4.   The agreed Barnet, Enfield and Haringey (BEH) Clinical Strategy was being delivered.


5.   There had been lack of investment at Chase Farm Hospital and a number of schemes developed and shelved over the years. Services were provided in random buildings across the site at the moment. It was the intention to deliver a new hospital fit for purpose in modern facilities and give an improved patient experience, in an efficient and economic way.


6.   The new hospital build was being enabled by the residential development. Unless there was residential development they would be unable to generate the funds to allow the hospital to be built.


7.   The application was for a building of up to 32,000m². The design needed 25,000m². This gave 7,000m² expansion space.


8.   It had subsequently been realised that it would be more economical to include facilities originally envisaged to be located in Highlands Wing in the new building. Highlands Wing would stay on the land and would not be sold.


9.   There would be a lot of land retention at the hospital site, around 70% spare capacity, which would allow for changes in policies or services that might occur in future years.


10. There had been engagement with local residents and tenants on the site and this would continue.


11. The timescale was set out. Subject to approval by Planning Committee in February, the site would be cleared to allow building of the hospital, and early 2015 would also see sale of parcels of land to allow the school to be built and land where the current housing was. By the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016 it would be possible to start the physical build of the new hospital, subject to a further application to define design, scale and massing. The full business case would be followed through with the Trust Board and Department of Health. The new hospital would open in Spring 2018.


12. Professor Steve Powis (Medical Director, Royal Free Hospital) added the following points:

  Clinicians wanted to deliver the best clinical care in the world and they wanted to provide the best possible infrastructure and building to enable that.

  Chase Farm Hospital currently was not conducive to delivering that level of care. The widely dispersed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.




NOTED the following questions and observations from Members of the Panel.


1.   Q.  Why was the urgent care centre not included in the healthcare services listed?

      A.  It should have been included. The urgent care centre was an absolute commitment.


2.   Q.  Could the applicant consider possible 24 hour Accident and Emergency (A&E) provision?

      A.  The BEH Clinical Strategy was agreed and that was what the applicant was instructed on to implement. They were not in a position to open up that strategy. There was no Chase Farm A&E in that strategy so there was no intention to provide this in the application.


3.   Q.  Could assurance be given that there would be no disruption during the construction period to services provided by Chase Farm Hospital?

      A.  It was a key issue that during the building period all existing services would continue. Investment would be put into existing buildings. A decant and enabling plan would be put in place. The urgent care centre would move into one of the existing buildings on site. All services now provided at Chase Farm Hospital would continue to operate on the site.


4.   Q.  Highlands Wing was originally part of the proposals: could assurance be given that if would be part of the redevelopment?

      A.  Highlands Wing was originally proposed for use for Outpatients, but the cost of refurbishment was too close to the cost of new build to be considered economic. Highlands Wing would be retained as flexible space, to allow expansion, with a planning designation as healthcare use, and some form of restrictive covenant to ensure it was retained for healthcare. It would be used for expansion of Chase Farm Hospital if required.


5.   Q.  Has there been a transport assessment?

      A.  Yes, this has been submitted to the Local Planning Authority and is available on the Council website. If there is further work, it will be updated with the reserved matters application. (The Chair confirmed that all documents can be accessed on LB Enfield website

under the application reference 14/04574/OUT). It could also be accessed via the Royal Free London website. Paper copies were deposited at Enfield Civic Centre, Enfield Town Library, and Chase Farm Hospital. The consultation period would run until Thursday 15 January if people wanted to make comments. If they did not agree with information in the transport assessment they should make representation at this stage. It was a fundamental part of the outline application.


6.   Q.  A 3 form of entry school would impact on the area. Would there be drop off and pick up points or parents’ parking within the school site?

      A.  A number of options were being considered, including a pick up and drop off point in the school grounds. Counter to that was a proposal that a prohibition order be obtained to restrict parents from going into the site by ensuring that only listed residents and cars would be able to access Shooters Road at restricted times. It was acknowledged  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.




NOTED the following question from Councillor Glynis Vince, Highlands Ward Councillor.


1.   Q.  On behalf of residents of Shooters Road, there were concerns about the proposals. The plans did not show the road properly. It was not a through road. Residents were concerned about parking and access. Mitigation measures around other schools in the past had not worked.

      A.  Shooters Road was a dead end at the moment, but proposals were being worked up to open it up into the hospital site, and take vehicles out via the main site.




NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees, grouped under subject headings:


1.   Timescale


Q.  The timescale for consultation was a cause for concern. There were 127 documents associated with this application. Could more time and / or more public meetings be arranged?

Further concerns were also raised that the proposals were being pushed through very quickly.

A.  A speedy timescale was being pursued as there was a need to recover the loss-making position of Chase Farm Hospital to give it a sustainable future. The longer the hospital was loss making the more difficult this would be.


2.   Finance


      Q.  Proposals were dependent on financial viability, but the relevant documentation had not been made publicly available. No decision should be made until firm figures had been seen.

A.  It was advised that a detailed financial viability assessment had been submitted to the Local Planning Authority, who would review it against planning policies, and would publish a redacted version online with all other documents relating to the application. Some of the information was commercially sensitive as it related to the residential development, and making public the assumptions of what the capital receipt might be would affect the commercial bids. The residential development was the key enabler to allow the development of the new hospital. The commercially sensitive information should be protected to allow the NHS to obtain the best value for the tax payer.


Q.  Would all the monies made from the land sale go to Chase Farm Hospital or Royal Free London or elsewhere, or would Royal Free London be subsidising the redevelopment?

A.  There was a commitment that all money raised from disposal of land will be re-invested back into the new hospital. None would be going to the Royal Free Hampstead or Barnet Hospitals. This money would not cover the cost of building the hospital. Funding would be coming from three sources: sales receipt; contribution from Department of Health and Treasury; and from Royal Free London as part of the acquisition process. The total cost of the new hospital at the moment was over £120M.


Q.  Attendees had ongoing concerns about approval of planning permission without full knowledge of how it would be costed. If the sale of land did not cover the full cost of the new hospital, the fear was that it would not be finished or fully provided. The Council had no control over clinical decisions.

A.  Planning officers confirmed that the cost and how the redevelopment would be funded was not critical to the planning assessment, and an application could not be refused because of uncertainty on funding.


3.   Hospital Facilities


Q.  The hospital clearly needed major redevelopment, and local people would welcome the improvements, but what were the particular targets?

A.  There would be a wide range of benefits. Infection control would improve for example as there were less hospital acquired infections in modern facilities


Q.  There had been no mention of psychiatric units: were any plans in place?

A.  Mental health  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.




NOTED the closing points, including:


1.   The Chair thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting. He felt it had been constructive and respectful and would be of great assistance in evaluating the application.


2.   Notes taken at this meeting would be appended to the Planning Officers’ report to be considered by the Planning Committee when the application was presented for decision. It was intended to present this application to Planning Committee on Tuesday 24 February 2015.


      Post Meeting Note: It is now anticipated that a decision on the application will be made by the full Planning Committee on Thursday 12 March 2015.


3.   There was a deputation procedure whereby involved parties could request to address the Planning Committee meeting (details on the Council website or via the Planning Committee Secretary 020 8379 4093 / 4091 or and residents could also ask ward councillors to speak on their behalf.


4.   Full details of the application were available to view and download from the Council’s website (Application Ref: 14/04574/OUT).


5.   The consultation period had been extended as advised and would now end on Thursday 15 January 2015.