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Masterplan for rejig of Ipswich Hospital services and helipad at former school site

PUBLISHED: 07:27 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 07:27 03 February 2017

The former Bridge School in heath Road, Ipswich, which is to be developed by Ipswich Hospital

The former Bridge School in heath Road, Ipswich, which is to be developed by Ipswich Hospital

A masterplan for the relocation of Ipswich Hospital's services from the north side of the site to the south is set to be drawn up "imminently", it has been revealed.

Proposed plans for the former Bridge School site, which will become a helipad and temporary car park for Ipswich Hospital. Picture: KLH ARCHITECTSProposed plans for the former Bridge School site, which will become a helipad and temporary car park for Ipswich Hospital. Picture: KLH ARCHITECTS

At the hospital’s drop-in evening last night where plans to create a temporary car park and helipad on the former Bridge School sitewere on display, director of estates and facilities Paul Fenton outlined the hospital’s long term goal of relocating some of the key departments situated on the north side of the site to the south near the Garrett Anderson Centre.

Mr Fenton said work on drawing up a masterplan would begin “imminently” and continue into 2018.

“The idea is to create this much closer hub of services,” he said.

“We already know what we want to repatriate from the north of the site to the south, the unknown is the Colchester and the community link-up.”

A planning application to demolish the former Bridge School has been approved, and a formal planning application to create a new helipad and up to 200 new spaces is likely to be submitted in April.

The plan will feature staff parking, currently situated outside the diabetes centre, which will move to the Bridge School site, allowing more patient parking near the busy diabetes centre.

As many as 200 spaces could be created, with spaces designated for both staff and patients.

“We know there is a problem with patient parking, as indeed there is with staff parking,” Mr Fenton said. “We are a very busy hospital, and the NHS is much busier so that means more patients coming to site, and we need to provide those facilities for them.”

The helipad meanwhile means the hospital will only need to use the nearby Copleston landing site for bigger helicopters used by search and rescue teams, and will cut journey times between hospital and A&E from more than 10 minutes to just two minutes.

If plans in April are approved, developers are aiming to begin construction in the summer with the helipad and spaces ready for late autumn.

Mr Fenton added that temporary car parking provided the best short-term use of the site, with longer-term plans being decided within the next five years.

A multi-storey car park is expected to accommodate cars as part of the hospital’s long term aim.

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