Grantham hospital flats could be let to other workers after ‘cuts to services and staffing levels’

A sign advertising flats to rent on the Grantham Hospital site.
A sign advertising flats to rent on the Grantham Hospital site.
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Flats built for hospital staff in Grantham could be let to other workers if a plan is approved.

Progress Care Housing Association wants to change a condition on the original planning permission for the flats which said they could only be used by hospital staff.

In the planning application, Caroline Belman, of the Lancashire-based housing association says: “There is an under-occupancy in the 46 flats due to Grantham NHS cutting services and staffing levels at the hospital.”

Miss Belman says her company wants the condition changed so that half of the flats can be occupied by “other local key workers and other workers serving the community in Grantham”.

In 2005 planning permission was given for use of the flats only for hospital workers and other medical staff. But the condition did say that if this level of occupancy dropped below 80 per cent other ‘key workers’ could live there. Key workers included social workers, teachers, police officers, firefighters, prison and probation staff.

District councillor Ray Wootten, who represents the ward, has objected to the plan and said: “Finally, the truth is out there. They do want to cut staff and services at the hospital.”

In his objection to South Kesteven District Council he said: “I have sent you a photograph taken today which has been advertising accommodation “with no strings attached” for several years. I have made a complaint to your department regarding this as the application was granted for “key workers” only.

“My view on this has not changed and to allow this to be changed to “those serving the community” could mean someone serving in the local corner shop which would be wrong as “keyworkers” were intended to be doctors, nurses, police Officers.

“I therefore object to this change as it could lead to a further request to change the other 50 per cent at some later date and eventually sold off for general housing.

“ULHT have stated that Grantham Hospital has a bright future and want to expand the services on site not reduce them. With ULHT stating that they are recruiting nurses from abroad, this building is an ideal base for them to live in whilst carrying out their duties.”