GEORGE NEWS - Mediclinic has finally received the go-ahead to build a new hospital in George. The Eden Joint Municipal Planning Tribunal on Tuesday 17 November approved its development application on land at Mountview Resort in York Street.
This comes five years after the George Municipality rejected the hospital's initial application to build a new facility on the sawmill property at Kraaibosch, opposite the Garden Route Mall.
It had been dismissed on grounds that the property is located outside of the urban edge, which was not in line with the municipal spatial development framework (SDF) that aims for densifying the city and optimising existing infrastructure and services.
The 'no' decision was appealed without success, and Mediclinic, that had wanted to open its new hospital in 2018, was compelled to add another floor to the existing premises while scouting for another suitable property. It urgently needs bigger premises in order to accommodate the demands of a fast-growing local population.
The tribunal approved the removal of a restrictive condition, subdivision, consolidation and rezoning on 10 erven at the Mountview property which is owned by the Thaba Development Trust.
In her application on behalf of the hospital, town planner Marlize de Bruyn said the development is in line with the spatial planning objectives for the area and should contribute to the revitalisation of the precinct. Mediclinic said it would comment at a later stage.
The estimated cost of the initial development was R700-million. This has since increased to R1-billion.
The new, three-storey hospital will have 25 746m² of floor space and will initially provide for about 215 beds. With future expansion, an additional 6 738m² will be added to create a building of 32 484m², providing an extra 72 beds. It will include a cardiology unit for which the Department of Health has already granted a licence.