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Plans For A New Gloucestershire Community Hospital Have Been Approved In The Forest Of Dean

Long-awaited plans to build a new hospital on a skate park have been approved.

Gloucestershire Community Hospital, in Cinderford, will include 24 beds and specialist services such as physiotherapy and paediatric services.

Forest of Dean District Council said it would replace the existing skate park with a new one on Miner's Field.

The plans were approved with seven votes in favour, two against and one abstention.

'Significant Benefits'

The development will also include general and specialist outpatient departments, dental and treatment suites and 132 parking spaces, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The town was chosen as the location for the £11m facility in 2018 and will replace the Lydney and Dilke hospitals in the Forest of Dean.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Pete Stockall said the plans would deliver significant health, social and economic benefits to the area.

"The building has been designed to a high environmental standard and site wide ecological benefits integrated into the landscaping to deliver biodiversity net gain," he said.

'Loss Of Important Open Space'

Cinderford Town Council supported the proposals despite several concerns over the viability of the site.

Its councillors said thousands of new homes were expected to be built in the Forest of Dean over the next few years and there appeared to be no room to be able to extend the new hospital in future.

They also feared the new hospital would impact traffic flow in the town.

However, Green Party councillor Jackie Fraser, said she could not support the scheme and said the hospital should be built at the Dilke site.

"This site is not the right place."

"It will lead to increased traffic generation through Steam Mills and the loss of important open space," she said.

The council said construction would go ahead provided Natural England raised no objections.

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