Posted by: swinemoor | September 14, 2014

Westwood Hospital Development to go ahead

Residents who objected to the P J Livesey development of the Westwood Hospital Site have now been written to by ERYC saying that their views were taken into consideration but planning permission has now been granted. It is good to know that views were taken into account, however, one suspects these views held less sway than the big bucks being paid to develop the site. Such is the way of it in Beverley, where things are decided well in advance of the public actually having a say. Take for instance an article in the Beverley Advertiser in July (when the decision was effectively made to grant planning permission) where that shy, retiring (if only) member of ERYC’s Planning Committee, Councillor Bryan Pearson, was setting out his stall in respect of the then recent decision of the Planning Committee to defer granting permission to develop the Beverley Westwood Hospital site. In this article Mr Pearson said that the site had been awaiting redevelopment for nine years. To NSH’s knowledge the site was occupied by the NHS until 2012 and the decision to build a hospital at Swinemoor Lane was only first mentioned in 2008! As with many planning matters in Beverley, the dates don’t add up. As Beverley residents we need to know who knew what and when with this development and with the linked Swinemoor Lane development: there is an all pervading smell of fish surrounding both of these decisions.
B Advertser 20140709

Beverley Advertiser 9 July 2014

Additionally in this article Cllr Pearson mentions that, the East Riding, as a council, have ‘their arm up their back’ when developing brownfield sites, such as that at the former Westwood Hospital Site and (by implication) cannot realistically refuse planning permission. However, what Cllr Pearson does not mention is the problem with developing THIS brownfield site is entirely the fault of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council who, rather than supporting the redevelopment of a new hospital on this site, instead encouraged the then Primary Care Trust (PCT) to apply to build a new cottage hospital on greenfield, flood-prone land on Swinemoor Lane. Mr Pearson is well aware that they were serious irregularities in the way that this application was handled by ERYC and, at the time, supported calls for an enquiry into the way that ERYC had dealt with the PCT and their enquiries as to a suitable site to build a new hospital.
In view of this we at NSH find it a bit rich that Mr Pearson is now bemoaning the the fact that the site is brownfield and that access through narrow streets will be required in order to develop it. This was inevitable once the ERYC had granted planning permission for the other developments on the site and directed the PCT to apply for the Flood Zone 3a Swinemoor Lane site. Councillors cannot complain about being boxed-in by regulations and policy when they themselves engineer the very conditions that box them in! This is symptomatic of the problems we are having in Beverley: a complete lack of forward thinking. If we had even some of this we would not be building a bypass in the wrong place, closing an essential level crossing, encouraging development on congested Swinemoor Lane and building on flood-prone and greenfield land.
Come on Mr Pearson, show some leadership and listen to your constituents who are fed-up with the way that ERYC are systematically destroying the character of the town. If you do not, many of these constituents will not be casting a vote for you next May. These issues will not go away and cannot be kicked into the long grass.


  1. This man does *not* care about our opinions. When I had an email conversation with him, he became rude and then said ‘I shall not be answering any more of your emails’. He needs to go. I hope that people remember to vote them out, but sadly you could put a monkey in a blue tie in Beverley and it would win the election.

    • As they say in Scotland, ‘times they are a changing’.

      A week is a long time in politics and there is eight months until the local elections……

      • I hope you’re right. Something is very rotten at the heart of ERYC.

      • Agreed. We at NSH have been banging on about this for six years now. Once glance at the letters in the Beverley Guardian will also support your assertion.

      • I’ve had a few in there over the years… 😉

  2. Accountability appears to be something which elludes people in positions of power :(, but remember that the SY Police & Crime Commissioner has just gone and the governance around that position looks somewhat lacking as well …. but critical mass can bring change, just not often enough perhaps?

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