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issue 297 – Concerns raised over play area’s proximity to hospital

With work beginning on a new play area at Frome Showfield, Friends of Frome Hospital has criticised Mendip District Council for building it “too close” to the hospital.

The group has been approached by members of the public who say they are concerned that the children’s play area, being developed by Mendip District Council, is too close to the hospital.
Peter Smith, chairman of the Friends of Frome Hospital said, “It would appear that consultation on the scheme first took place in 2007.  This was followed by what we understand to be a rapid further consultation exercise by Mendip District Council in October 2009, when it was announced that construction would take place in Spring 2010. 
“The Somerset Primary Care Trust have expressed concerns at the proximity and location of the proposed site to the hospital and requested that it should be located as far away from the hospital as possible.   It would appear that these representations could have been ignored by Mendip which has presumably granted its own planning consent for the development.”
Work has now commenced on the site on an area which is closer to the hospital than anticipated by the hospital authorities.
Peter Smith said, “Their concern is that it is overlooked by wards which accommodate sometimes very sick patients who may not appreciate the noise generated by a play area of this nature, particularly on summer evenings when the windows are open.   
“We can appreciate and support the need for a play area on this side of the town.  However, surely the  Showfield is large enough to locate the development well away from the hospital. 
“We fail to understand the attitude of Mendip District Council,  which for some reason appears to have steamrollered this development through,  even though they had been made aware of the potentially detrimental effect on hospital patients and must also be aware of the proposed new health centre which could also be affected.”
Mendip District Council was unable to comment on the development.