Hospice hopes to be rubberstamped

PROPOSALS for a multi-million pound children's hospice in Ipswich are set to be rubberstamped at a meeting being held tomorrow.East Anglia's Childrens Hospices (EACH) currently runs a hospice from a bungalow in Walker Close, but chief executive Graham Butland said demand makes finding a bigger premises essential.

PROPOSALS for a multi-million pound children's hospice in Ipswich are set to be rubberstamped at a meeting being held tomorrow.

East Anglia's Childrens Hospices (EACH) currently runs a hospice from a bungalow in Walker Close, but chief executive Graham Butland said demand makes finding a bigger premises essential.

The charity wants to construct a new building on land off St Augustines Gardens, near St Clements golf course, at a cost of between £3million and £5million.

The single storey building will provide end-of-life and respite care for up to six children as well as having rooms for family to stay in.

Mr Butland said: “The demand for our services in the area has outgrown our current building.

“We have been looking for the best part of five years for an alternative to be able to build a purpose-built hospice.

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“We have had a number of false dawns but about 15 months ago we had an offer from a charitable trust who own this patch of land, offering it to us on a long lease.

“We have been working to produce a plan for it which will provide a new hospice for the children of Ipswich and the surrounding area.”

Mr Butland said that, prior to submitting the planning application, EACH contacted homeowners in St Augustines Gardens and invited them to open days at the charity's current hospice in the town.

He said feedback has been positive about the scheme and hopes that, if permission is granted, funding can be achieved that will allow construction of the building within three years.

The application is due to be discussed at a meeting of Ipswich Borough Council's Planning and Development Control Committee being held at 9.30am tomorrow.

Planning officers have recommended the application for approval subject to a number of conditions although the final say so rests with councillors on the committee.

n. Has EACH helped you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk