The joint application by Havens Hospices and Bellway Homes was agreed by Southend’s Development Control Committee by a majority of 12 votes to two. It concludes Havens’ long-running saga to find a home for its new hospice.
The charity has an agreement with Bellway Homes to purchase 3.5 acres in the south west corner running alongside Priory Crescent to build a new Fair Havens Hospice so it can care for twice as many patients as it currently does.
The development scheme will also create 720 jobs.
Andy Smith, Chief Executive of Havens Hospices, said: “Although our vision will take many years to become a reality whilst we raise the funds and build the new Fair Havens Hospice, we are a step closer to ensuring that specialist hospice care is there for everyone who needs it.
“The new Fair Havens will be able to care for twice as many people as the current hospice does thanks to more outpatient services like transfusions, infusions, counselling and a larger Day Care, as well as the 16 bedded In Patient Unit. All of the care will continue to be free of charge, which can only continue thanks to the goodwill and support of the community.”
The project will cost £16 million and the charity has already secured the money needed for the purchase of the land.
Mr Smith added: “We hope to open the doors to the new Fair Havens Hospice in five years’ time. In the meantime, our focus will be on continuing to raise money for our existing hospice in Chalkwell Avenue (as well as Little Havens Hospice for babies, children and teenagers) to make sure that our nurses can continue caring for patients and their families when they need us most.”