A care unit for people nearing the end of their lives will be built at Treetops Hospice in Risley.
Members of the Erewash Borough Council planning committee gave the go ahead for the proposals at a meeting on November 21.
A spokesperson for the hospice said at the meeting: “Most people want to die in their own homes, but not everyone can and need extra help towards the end of their lives.
“This will give people a choice and extend the wonderful work we do at Treetops.”
The grass-covered unit will have a modern design aimed to look as if the existing field was pulled up over the top of the building. It would provide space for 12 residents, a “multi-faith contemplation space” for use by patients and visitors, along with nursing support facilities, a lounge for residents and visitors, kitchen, office, counselling rooms and individual outside patios.
A replacement 59-space car park would be built as part of the scheme. Treetops says that the unit will ease pressures on the area’s hospitals.
It wrote in a report: “The proposed new building to accommodate 12 dedicated end of life beds and associated facilities at the Risley site would give a real choice to patients as to where they receive palliative care in a local community setting while contributing towards reducing the pressure of acute hospital admissions.”
Risley with Hopwell Parish Council had raised concerns over construction in the green belt, along with existing parking issues – which they felt would not be sufficiently catered for even with the provision of more spots.
Borough council planning officers say despite being in the green belt and the related “substantial” impact, which would be a “detriment of the surrounding landscape character”, the application would be acceptable.
They wrote: “Notwithstanding this substantial impact, it is considered that in this case the very special circumstances adduced are sufficient to overcome not just the principle of harm from inappropriateness, but also the actual harm from the massing of development proposed.”
Eddie Bisknell, Local Democracy Reporting Service