Hospice charity's plan for a 'wellbeing hub' in Boston is rejected by council planners

Focus House, Boston
Focus House, Boston

A charity’s plans for a “wellbeing hub” in Boston with clinical and support teams under one roof have been rejected by the council  because it wasn’t the permitted class of use the the building.

St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice wanted to use vacant premises at Focus House. Resolution Close, on Endeavour Park, as a base to bring together its Hospice@Home, palliative care and wellbeing teams, into one location.

The charity said the hub would “cater for all stages of a patient’s illness”.

In a supporting letter to Boston Borough Council, it said: “It is considered that centralising each element of St Barnabas’ services within this facility will serve to greatly enhance the efficiency of [its] work. The proposed development will maximise the level of care the hospice provides for patients and their families at the most difficult of times.”

Services included assessment, care plans, therapy treatments, advice and bereavement care.

The charity believed the loss of employment space on the business park would be balanced out by the “much-needed” facility which would have been in a “suitable and easily accessible location” .

However, planning officers rejected the plans saying the site “should only be used for an office or [business class]” whereas the hub would have counted as a “non-residential institution”.

“The South East Lincolnshire Local Plan states that Main Employment Areas are reserved for employment in [business] classes.

“No evidence has been provided to indicate why the proposed change of use should be allowed.”

They said the estate was “still being developed” and added “There are… other sites that could be suitable… elsewhere in Boston rather than allow the development on a Main Employment Area where the development is not allowed in principle.”