Plans for Watford Health Campus have received overwhelmingly support, with 77% of people who responded backing the proposals to transform the 29 acre site in west Watford.
The endorsement is just one of the findings from recent engagement on Watford Health Campus, which gave local people the opportunity to share their views on the scheme and to see proposals for the site for the first time. Also receiving positive feedback from the public were the opportunities Watford Health Campus opens up for improvements to the area. People were particularly keen to see the scheme deliver: opportunities for hospital development, the new road to the hospital site and the cleaning up and improvement of disused, contaminated land.
Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: “Getting out and about and showing local people the plans for Watford Health Campus is extremely important. By bringing the scheme to life and discussing all the improvements it will deliver, the partners have received a tremendous amount of feedback that I know is being used to make sure the proposals are right. The 77% positive response shows that people do understand and support what the partners are trying to achieve.”
Samantha Jones, Chief Executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (which runs Watford Hospital) said: “We are fully committed to the Watford Health Campus scheme and it’s pleasing to see so many people took the time to get involved in the recent consultation. It’s also good to see that the overwhelming proportion of them are in favour of the proposals the partnership have put forward.”
The public had a number of ways to have their say on the Watford Health Campus proposals.
40,000 leaflets were delivered to Watford households, explaining the scheme and inviting people to get involved. They could do this by:
• completing a survey either online or by returning a freepost response form
• attending one of three public exhibitions
• contacting the team directly
Watford Health Campus brings together Watford Borough Council and Kier (working together as the Watford Health Campus Partnership LLP) and West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The scheme will improve the large area of public land in west Watford surrounding Watford Hospital, running down from Vicarage Road to Wiggenhall Road, much of which is currently derelict, contaminated and unused.
By improving this area, the scheme will deliver a vibrant and attractive community featuring:
• quality homes – around 750 new homes, over 15 to 20 years, including much needed affordable homes
• news business and work opportunities – premises and facilities to attract new businesses, creating up to 1500 jobs over the life of the scheme
• green, open spaces and new landscaped public spaces for the whole community to enjoy
• the opportunity for hospital development that will offer greater flexibility for the hospital’s future plans
• an improved road network, including a new road for emergency vehicles to the hospital
Planning applications for the Watford Health Campus will be submitted later this month. These will involve an outline plan for the majority of the site and a detailed plan for the business space.