Plans for nearly 60 new homes at the site of a former community hospital in Wiltshire have been approved despite objections.

At a meeting of the Eastern Area Planning Committee on Thursday, February 22, councillors resolved to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Devizes Community Hospital on New Park Road.

The plans will see the construction of 58 residential dwellings alongside a flexible commercial unit.

Two original buildings to the east of the site will be retained and converted.

This approval is subject to the first completion of a Section 106 legal agreement that is currently being worked on by the council’s legal team.

A spokesperson for NHS Property Services, which still owns the site, believes the redevelopment is a chance to reinvigorate a site that has been disused since services were relocated elsewhere.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The former Devizes Community HospitalThe former Devizes Community Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

They said: “With the old community hospital site now surplus to the requirements of the local NHS, with services having relocated to the fantastic new Integrated Care Centre on Marshall Road, the opportunity now exists to create a new neighbourhood of homes and green open space on the banks of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

“Not only will this provide much-needed housing, but it will also provide an opportunity to generate revenue to be reinvested into the local health service.

“We have the opportunity to deliver a highly sustainable development which contributes to the regeneration of the wharf area.

“We are mindful of the contribution the historic red brick hospital buildings fronting New Park Road make to the character of the Devizes Conservation Area and we will retain and restore these as part of the development proposals.”

But the plans had proved controversial and were called in for discussion at the area planning committee by Cllr Iain Wallis.

Speaking on Facebook he emphasised that he supported building on the unused site but raised concerns about a lack of affordable housing provision.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Devizes Community HospitalDevizes Community Hospital (Image: Newsquest)

But councillors accepted two viability studies which found the costs of clearing and decontamination on the site made it unaffordable to provide below market value housing.

He added: “My concern was that the current owners, the NHS, had asked to build no affordable housing on the site.

“I also accept this finding and feel that building something here is better than it remaining unused and becoming derelict.

“We do need housing and this is far better than building on green fields.”

Other residents objected over fears that the volume of homes would put pressure on the town’s roads and other infrastructure.