Oakhaven Hospice unveils expansion plans

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Oakhaven expansion
Oakhaven Hospice does not have immediate plans to start building

PLANS to boost the in-patient capacity of Oakhaven Hospice are set to be considered by New Forest District Council.

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The scheme, which involves the addition of two en suite bedrooms at the Lower Pennington Lane facility, have been drawn up as part of the hospice’s long-term expansion scheme.

Oakhaven Hospice spokesperson Melanie Stone said: “These plans were actually draw up last year prior to the coronavirus pandemic and submitted in early February, however, because the relevant fees have recently been paid – they have only now been registered.

“Given the current financial instability the charity is facing, we have no plans to go ahead with any building work until a much later date.”

Under the plans, two small extensions will be created by filling the space between the main hospice building and a linked chapel – increasing the footprint of the building by 14%.

A design and access statement accompanying the plans sets out: “The benefit which the proposal provides is to allow the hospice to cost-effectively expand and adapt, and as such provide their valuable service to additional people from the local community.

“The hospice continues to operate at capacity and there continues to be a large unmet demand for additional palliative care provision in the locality.”

The application is set to be decided following a consultation process which runs until Wednesday 28th October.

Ms Stone said: “Once permission is granted we have a restricted income in place from a statutory source to cover the costs of building work – but we would only go ahead at the point when we could also meet the costs of the additional nurses and staff that would also be required to care for the extra patients.”

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