Sep 26 2012 by Jackie Grant, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
THE REGIONS new s200 million hospital will be built near to the Garroch roundabout at the western end of the A75 Dumfries bypass.
The health board announced the preferred site on Friday and described it as a major step in progressing the new hospital project.
The Garroch came out as the publics favourite following a period of formal consultation with 55 per cent of the responses backing the site.
A proposal of application notice will now be submitted to the councils planning department.
And that will be followed by an application for planning consent in principle next January.
The health boards chief operating officer Julie White said: I am delighted to be able to announce where we plan to build the new hospital.
We believe that this site will provide much better access to our acute hospital for patients across Dumfries and Galloway.
She added: Having studied the responses and considered all of the comments we received from the consultation, we know that accessibility was a key factor when people indicated their preferred site.
This is a major step in progressing the new hospital project.
Politicians welcomed the announcement.
MSP Elaine Murray said: This is a major milestone in the progress towards a new hospital in Dumfries.
The current infirmary has served local people well for over 35 years, but its clear there are parts of it showing their age so this is a welcome step forward towards a new building.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: I am pleased that the NHS has listened to local peoples views in their consultation on the location.
There is no doubt that by being closer to the A75 the new site is more accessible for more people. This is a big investment in our area and an opportunity to bring a real state of the art hospital to Dumfries and Galloway.
And Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson said he is absolutely delighted that this site has been chosen as it will maximise the ease of access for my constituents in the west of the region.
He added: While any of the final sites would have been an improvement on the current location of DGRI, the Garroch site is the one that will be of greater benefit to my constituents.
I therefore congratulate the board on coming to this decision, which is entirely in accordance to the outcome of the public consultation.
The site decision follows a three-month consultation process during which people were able to select their preferred site from a list of five.
The existing Dumfries Infirmary site will be sold to pay for the new land.
Building work on the new hospital is expected to get under way by the end of next year with the building expected to be completed by 2016/17.
The health boards chief operating officer, Julie White, expressed their gratitude to the landowners, William and Margaret Muir, and their wish to commemorate their son, the late David Muir, for their co-operation during the negotiations, and for their positive commitment to the project.
She added: We will be keen to acknowledge and mark that commitment at the new hospital in an appropriate manner at a later date.
Consultant John MacColl acted as agent for the Muirs, of Starryheugh Farm.
He said: My clients desire was always to ensure that the NHS was able to acquire their preferred site for the new Dumfries and Galloway Hospital.
The negotiation for the purchase of the land has achieved this and will assist the NHS in progressing this major project. We are pleased that our involvement has assisted the land acquisition process.