Decision time on St Luke’s rebuild

St Luke's Hospice
St Luke's Hospice

CITY planners have backed plans for a major redevelopment of Sheffield’s St Luke’s Hospice.

Council planning officers have recommended the institution is given planning permission to extend its buildings on Little Common Lane, Whirlow, to provide more en-suite accommodation.

Bosses at the hospice, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year, decided to upgrade the complex after they abandoned plans to move to the site of the old Bluestones School at Norfolk Park.

Instead they have applied for planning permission to demolish Sykes House, which is used for administration, to allow for the refurbishment and extension of the in-patient unit.

The work would create 14 single rooms with en-suite facilities, along with two triple-occupancy rooms.

The total number of beds would be unchanged, at 20, although the overall floor-space will increase by 730 square metres. Car parking will be reduced from 92 to 80.

A council report said: “The service provided by St Luke’s is acknowledged as being of great importance to healthcare across the city.

“However, the building is no longer able to support the level of privacy, dignity and independent necessary for 21st-century hospice care.

“Due to the economic downturn, the hospice has had to abandon previous plans to building new premises elsewhere within the city.

“The hospice is now committed to modernising its existing accommodation in order to continue to provide the best possible end-of-life experience for patients and their families.”

Three neighbours on Petworth Drive, which adjoins the site’s rear boundary, have written to the council to complain that the raised extension will overlook their properties.

The council report said: “Despite these representations, the neighbours are supportive of St Luke’s and appreciate the need for improvements.”

Councillors on Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board will take a final decision on the scheme when they meet on Monday.

The hospice plan to move to the Norton Nurseries corner of Graves Park was scrapped.