To follow that is impossible, but my petition is of more importance to my constituents, because the hospital site, where there is of course no longer a hospital, has always been an area where it was planned that we should eventually have a hospital. Unfortunately, the NHS plans to sell it off and 270 local residents have signed a petition, led by Sheila Vickers. I shall read the petition where the point is well made:
The Humble Petition of residents of Rushden, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,
Sheweth, that the proposed revised redevelopment of the Rushden Hospital site for housing is unpopular, ill-advised and detrimental to the residents of Rushden; that over 25% of the residents of Rushden petitioned the House of Commons for a new outpatient facility in the town, the majority wanting the new facility on the Rushden hospital site; that the proposal to build housing on the site instead of an NHS facility is unacceptable and the impact on the surrounding roads of a large housing development and the density of the development and the proposed cut-through to the Greenacre Drive Estate is wholly detrimental to local residents and notes that a similar proposal for housing development on this site was not approved by East Northamptonshire District Council.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to urge the Department of Health to withdraw the revised planning application and further urges him to request that the District Council of East Northamptonshire and the County Council and the Primary Care Trust work together to provide a suitable health facility on the site.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.