Agenda item

Agenda item

137537/FO/2023 - Withington Community Hospital, Nell Lane, Manchester, M20 2LR - Didsbury West Ward

The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing regarding the erection of a two-storey building comprising a Community Diagnostics Centre (use class E(e)), with associated external landscaping, patient and delivery drop off area and 6 no. accessible parking spaces.


The planning application was for the erection of a two-storey building comprising a

Community Diagnostics Centre (use class E(e)), with associated external

landscaping, patient and delivery drop off area and 6 no. accessible parking spaces

at the site of Withington Community Hospital on Nell Lane in the Didsbury West



The key issues with this application were:

·       The need and benefit of the new centre

·       The impact on the local environment

·       The impact on the local traffic and parking


It was acknowledged there were concerns with the proposals, particularly around car

parking and the potential impact on the local area; however, as set out in the report it

was considered the proposal, which would provide a valuable new Health Care facility, must be carefully balanced with the overall public benefits holding significant weight. It was also recognised that this is a sustainable location near tram stops and bus routes, and other local facilities which provides significant opportunity to assist in

modal shift from the private car whilst also having access to off-street car parking for

those users where alternatives are not viable.


Other matters raised by objectors were also fully addressed.


The Planning Officer referred the Committee to an additional condition in the late representations report.


The applicant’s agent from the NHS Foundation Trust addressed the Committee on the application and stated that there had been a £2.3bn investment from the government. This had identified Manchester and Trafford as key beneficiaries of the scheme. Withington Hospital was already recognised as a key medical hub for the South Manchester area. This centre was well placed to measure the impact of cardio-respiratory issues on local health. The principle of this development was considered acceptable. This medical centre was located in a residential area with the design maximising the functionality of the building. Solar panels, net zero targets, low carbon and sustainable transport methods would help to meet strategic policies in the city. There would be 10 cycle spaces and 6 EV charging points all part of the travel plan for the scheme. There was also an action plan to consider short, medium and long term travel developments. There had been engagement with stakeholders and Local Ward Councillors. To assist with any potential for a rise in on-street car parking, there had been a rise from 30 to 60 mins of free parking for users of the hospital. The development complies with the local and national framework and would be a benefit to the development of a healthy population.


Ward Councillor Hilal addressed the Committee stating that she was in favour of the proposal, but had received complaints from residents about staff parking on residential streets. Councillor Hilal joined residents to observe this in the early hours of the morning and conducted research with staff members on why they were doing this. Staff of the hospital stated that they were being charged £3 per hour to park at the hospital and could not afford to do so. Charges for staff are based on wage. Councillor Hilal spoke to management at the hospital, asking if staff could have 3 hours free parking as they were having a negative effect on local residents. The management rejected this proposal. Also, cancer patients of the hospital were not aware that they were entitled to free parking and it was questioned how the hospital could feed this information to these patients in a clear way to avoid more on-street parking. There had been an agreement in the report for all users of the hospital to have 60 minutes of free parking, which was an increase from the previous 30 minutes. Also, the hospital was supportive of the use of their car park for residents between the hours of 8pm and 6am. Residents had previously rejected a parking scheme and Councillor Hilal and Jeff Smith MP had met with objectors to assist with an agreement between them and the hospital. It had been determined that the proposed unit will employ 30 additional staff and more patients were expected to visit and that would need consideration.


The Chair invited the Director of Planning to make a comment to the hospital trust on the overnight parking arrangement.


The Director of Planning stated that this was certainly an agreeable option and expressed her gratitude to all concerned and involved in the discussions. There was already a travel plan arranged for this application and the Director of Planning stated that she would write to the trust to set out terms for a potential overnight parking plan.


The Planning Officer added that the applicant was committed to the travel plan and that this was flexible to incorporate future changes.


Councillor Andrews was pleased to hear all the efforts and discussions that had taken place around this application and moved the officer’s recommendation of Approve for the application, subject to conditions and amendments.


Councillor Gartside seconded the proposal.




The Committee resolved to approve the application, subject to conditions and amendments within the reports.


Supporting documents: