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Construction of new hospice backed by planning watchdog

An artist’s impression of the new Agape House hospice (Image from planning documents)

Plans to build a replacement hospice have been given the green light by the Development Applications Board.

The approval means the hospice can push ahead with construction on its site at Spice Hill Road, Warwick.

Environmental groups raised concerns about the driveway passing through agricultural and woodland reserves, but a planning official said the site was otherwise ideal.

A planning report to the Development Applications Board said: “It is evident this site is suited for housing for persons with special needs, given the size of the property and the existing environmental features.

“The location of the site, roughly in the middle of the island, close to three of the most densely populated parishes and serviced by a public road with access to two of the main public roads, Middle and South Roads, ensures easy access for staff, visitors and deliveries.”

A planning official said the surrounding woodland would also provide privacy for people in the hospice, as well as a tranquil setting.

The report added: “The site visit confirmed the existing rudimentary access point to Spice Hill Road is the most appropriate location and there is no alternative for the driveway to be located elsewhere on the property, traversing both the woodland and agricultural reserve conservation areas.”

The development, a replacement for the existing Agape House next to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Paget, was approved at a DAB meeting last month.

The application was submitted by architectural firm Lindberg & Simmons on behalf of the charity Friends of Hospice last September.

The area, known as Woodland Grove, is largely surrounded by woodland and agricultural land, but the building was proposed for land zoned as residential.

Drawings for the project showed 20 bedrooms on the building’s lower floor as well as a kitchen and dining room, gym, salon and family room.

The building’s second floor would include another eight bedrooms, offices and verandas overlooking the grounds.

The Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce and the Bermuda Audubon Society raised concerns about the proposed layout of the driveway and asked if it could be rerouted.

Plans to build a new Agape House were announced in 2019 and the Friends of Hospice charity announced last July it would manage the new hospice.

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Published March 01, 2022 at 7:48 am (Updated March 01, 2022 at 7:48 am)

Construction of new hospice backed by planning watchdog

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