PROPOSALS for a orthopaedic centre and new road access at Colchester Hospital have been unveiled to the public.

Residents have a week left to voice their opinions on the ambitious plans for the Turner Road site.

The East Suffolk and North Essex Trust, which runs the hospital, is preparing two planning applications for a the proposed elective orthopaedic centre.

The trust is allowing the public to comment on the plans in a two-week online consultation which ends next Friday.

Due to ongoing concerns regarding the Covid pandemic, the hospital has taken the decision to run the consultation online, rather than holding a public display.

The works involved with creating the elective orthopaedic centre would include demolishing the Mary Barron building, cardiac catheterisation unit and administrative block, as well as the part-demolition of the Elmstead Day Unit and the removal of staff car park F.

A three-storey building and roof top plant would then be built to serve as the elective orthopaedic centre, and it would comprise up to eight theatres and 75 beds.

A new loop road to allow for ambulance bays and a patient drop-off area are also set to be created, as well as a new pedestrian footway.

The second part of the plans are for Northern Approach Road access to the hospital.

This would involve creating a new vehicular, cycle and pedestrian access point into Colchester Hospital via Northern Approach to the west.

A new signal-controlled junction to allow the access is also part of the plans, as well as the creation of a bus gate at the existing junction with Turner Road.

Widening of Northern Approach to enable vehicles to enter and exit the site is also in the plans.

Paul Fenton, director of estates and facilities, said: “We’re pleased that our plans for an elective orthopaedic centre have progressed to this next stage.

“The proposed Northern Approach Road development would also create an opportunity for a new access point into Colchester Hospital, significantly reducing traffic on the residential Turner Road and connecting to the main visitor and staff car parks.

“We hope that local people will agree that these plans will benefit our communities and that we will be able to progress the build at the next stage of planning approval during the spring.”

An ESNEFT spokesman said: “ The elective orthopaedic centre represents a significant healthcare investment, which will make a valuable contribution and improvement to the care provided at Colchester Hospital to north Essex and Suffolk catchment area.”

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