Plans amended for mental health unit

Coun John Jones and (below) an artist's impression of the unit.
Coun John Jones and (below) an artist's impression of the unit.
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REVISED plans have now been submitted for a £40m new mental health unit on the Fylde coast.

The scheme will now see a smaller building constructed on land at Whyndyke Farm, Preston New Road, Marton.

Arists' impression of The Harbour, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust's planned new inpatient unit at Whyndyke Farm

Arists' impression of The Harbour, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust's planned new inpatient unit at Whyndyke Farm

Outline permission is already in place for the development – which has come under criticism by councillors for being heavily delayed.

The latest application is for changes to some of the details of the scheme.

The total floor area has been reduced from 14,053 square metres to 12,605 square metres, and the building footprint has been moved closer to the main approach road.

Changes also include a smaller sized courtyard, and smaller bedrooms although the report states they are “all within current best practice guidelines”. However the number of bedrooms remains the same at 154.

Lancashire Care NHS Trust, which has already held a consultation event with residents on the new plans, hopes to start building work next spring.

In October, members of Blackpool Council’s health scrutiny committee said they were disappointed at delays to the start of building work on the scheme, known as The Harbour, which was first mooted more than five years ago.

Coun John Jones told the meeting: “We had assurances work would start in the spring of this year – that hasn’t happened.

“We need these facilities to be there because when there’s a recession on there’s a more acute problem with mental health.”

Building work had been due to start in April this year.

The new complex will replace the Parkwood mental health unit on Whinney Heys Road, Blackpool, where half the beds have closed, leaving 44 beds remaining.

Lancashire Care NHS Trust declined to comment on the new application.