The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for mental health services across the county, has submitted a detailed planning application to Rother District Council to build a new 54-bed mental health hospital on a site in Mount View Street, Bexhill. 

The new hospital is intended to supersede what are regarded as outdated facilities at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne.

At the same time, the Trust has submitted a further outline planning application for a second phase on the same site which could potentially provide a further 72 beds, though this extension could not proceed without fresh funding.

New hospital – Artist’s impression
CREDIT: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

A formal public consultation was conducted between June and September 2021. The majority of respondents favoured the Mount View Street site over prospective alternative locations. A further pre-planning consultation held in March this year canvassed views of local residents. According to the Trust’s press release issued last week, most approved the programme, including the potential second phase.

Concerns expressed about access roads, traffic levels and the impact on wildlife are said to have been “addressed” in the formal planning application.

Programme Director, Paula Kirkland, said: “This planning application marks a major step forward towards implementing the first phase of our wider vision to create new modern facilities to address all inpatient mental health needs on a single site for people across East Sussex and beyond.

“We are delighted that most people we have consulted have agreed that there is a need for a new mental health hospital and that the land in Mount View Street is a suitable site for the new facilities. Obviously, local people have some specific concerns but we are confident we can address those as we progress with our plans.”

Comments on the detailed plans can be made up to 19 June on the Rother planning website. 

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