25th September 2023

Plans approved for the development of Belper health services

Plans for a new NHS community health services hub serving Belper have this week been granted planning approval by Amber Valley Borough Council.

It paves the way for health bosses to begin the process of inviting tenders and appointing a contractor for the development of state-of-the-art health facilities on the site of the former Belper Clinic, on part of the Babington Hospital site on Derby Road, Belper.

The heritage of the local area and other planning considerations have been carefully agreed by planners, the Environment Agency and local heritage officers, in arriving at an approved design submitted by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust.

Belper Health Centre artist impression

Initial plans were originally unveiled in late 2019 but the arrival of the pandemic in early 2020 meant the project was put on hold as local authority and NHS services were diverted to cope with the emergency response. In the intervening time, the plans have been revised and refined to arrive at the design which has now been approved.

Jim Austin, chief information and transformation officer for Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, who leads the Belper health redevelopment project, said: “We are very pleased to be able to share these updated plans and architect’s drawings for transforming health facilities for patients in Belper.

“Since resuming work on the Belper project following the Covid response, we have been liaising with the local authority and heritage officer for over nine months to ensure the plans are suitable for the delivery of modern healthcare and are sensitive to the historic local environment.

“Now plans are approved, it opens the way for us to begin the procurement process to identify a suitable contractor. The building design will be built to be ecologically sustainable and to meet the community-based health needs of Belper and its local community for many years to come.

“We expect to be able to start site clearance work later this year and for the whole development to take between 18 months and two years, with those details to be determined once we have a contractor on board.”

The revised scheme honours the promises made to local people in the engagement process of 2018 to develop services fit for the 21st century in a sustainable way and in line with the ambitions set out in Joined Up Care Derbyshire to replace out-dated facilities at Babington Hospital.                                           

NHS Property Services, which owns Babington Hospital, agreed to the sale of Belper Clinic and a section of car park on the southern boundary of the hospital site, to Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust to enable the health services redevelopment to go ahead.