Portsmouth City Council to pay Queen Alexandra Hospital more than £1m to make up for planning permission levies

MORE than £1m in grants are set to be awarded to QA Hospital by Portsmouth City Council after its chief executive ‘expressed concerns’ about having to make payments as part of planning permission for its projects.

By Josh Wright
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 9:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 9:20 pm

In February, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust boss Penny Emerit wrote to the council warning that having to make community infrastructure levy (CIL) payments was putting extra pressure on its budget.

Under planning rules the trust, which runs QA, is required to make these contributions when its schemes, including the recently-approved new ward and car park, are approved.

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How the new ED at Queen Alexandra Hospital could look. Picture: Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

So far the trust has paid the council just over £1m while a further £500,000 will be due as part of the emergency department project.

These payments are taken as part of all developments in the city to fund infrastructure improvements required to meet increasing demands on services, including healthcare.

‘Under the current CIL charging schedule, [the council] levies CIL on new floorspace created within hospitals,’ a council report says. ‘The trust therefore is in the position that it must make CIL payments to the city council proportionate to new floorspace created but that same floorspace is itself a community infrastructure output that CIL funding can be put towards.’

The trust, in its letter, said these payments were not covered by the national funding it receives and so it is putting extra demands on its finances.

In response, councillors agreed in February that the trust could make an application for this funding to have all the money returned.

More than £150,000 has already been awarded through two grants from ward councillors in April.

And on Tuesday the council's cabinet will be asked to approve the remaining £864,000. The trust said this would be used to help cover the cost of the new ward and car park.

Part of the grant will also be used for a new patient garden which is due to open this summer, a new barrier-free system for the car park, electric vehicle charging points and new pedestrian routes.