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Legal challenge to delay new hospital

PUBLISHED: 12:55 03 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

HEALTH bosses have reaffirmed their commitment to having a new hospital built in Sudbury, despite a possible legal challenge that could scupper the project.

HEALTH bosses have reaffirmed their commitment to having a new hospital built in Sudbury, despite a possible legal challenge that could scupper the project.

Johanna Finn, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust, told a meeting of Suffolk Health Authority that despite a legal challenge to have the site at People's Park area designated a town or village green, they were determined to see a new hospital built there.

Farming brothers David and Colin Steed are considering going to the House of Lords to have the area designated a town or village green, which would put the hospital plan on ice.

Ms Finn said a five-point action plan had been agreed with all agencies involved, including getting legal advice, exploring alternative sites and considering the present demand on Walnut tree Hospital in the town.

She added: "We are committed to building a new community hospital for the people of Sudbury and determined that this setback will not kill this much-needed health and care facility."

South Suffolk Conservative MP Tim Yeo said he welcomed the continued commitment shown by the West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust and partner agencies.

"I am confident that despite the obstacles, by working together and supporting the project team, solutions can be found which will be acceptable to the local community," he added.

Colin Spence, a health authority member and a Babergh district councillor, said it was a bitter blow to the people in Sudbury who had hoped to see the 40-bed hospital open in 2004.

"It is devastating for the community of Sudbury after all their efforts, this has come at the midnight hour."

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