Next step for hospital could be finished within weeks
THE next step towards the construction of the new Tweed Valley Hospital is hoped to be completed within the next four weeks.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said he believed the Environmental Impact Statement could be returned in the near future, paving the way for the next round of works to start.
"I expect a final decision on the Environmental Impact Statement in the next two to four weeks,” Mr Provest said.
"After that further initialling works will be commencing.”
The Tweed MP said the government was still on track to deliver the hospital by 2022.
The development application has still not been approved for the site, but Mr Provest said he expected that to be finalised by the end of the year.
"Before the end of the year the final development application will be complete - (we) have been working extremely hard with our community groups and also Health Infrastructure.
"We are on a strict timeline to have it completed by 2022 and I believe we are going to achieve that.”
The site of of the new Tweed Valley Hospital was the major issue during March's state election, with opponents against the site's location.
Many residents were unhappy with agricultural land being wiped out for the new hospital.
Mr Provest said the hospital location wasn't under any threat when asked about the lingering dis-satisfaction within sections of the community.
"During the election various political opponents said it was a referendum on the hospital and we won (all) 19 booths and we increased the majority so I believe the people have spoken,” he said.
"If you take a walk through the current Tweed Hospital and talk to the clinicians there you quickly see the definite need, and this is the best way we can deliver it, it as been designed by experts to deliver 21st Century medicine.”