New plans for mental health unit in Hellingly

Proposals to demolish part of a mental health unit in Hellingly have been put forward after initial plans to refurbish the site was reconsidered.

It was thought that the refurbishment would not tackle potential security breaches at Ashen Hill, so plans are now on the table to knock that site down and make space for two new 15-bed wards and support accommodation linking with the adjacent site the Hellingly Centre. The two sites are both medium secure mental health units, while Southview – which is based next to the two buildings – is a low secure mental health unit.

If permission is granted, the new wards would be slightly modified versions of the Hellingly Centre wards.

A report outlining the latest plans states: “It is clear the section height and layout of Ashen Hill offers potential security breaches and reduced safety within the unit, neither of which could be mitigate by refurbishment.”

“Southview offers a different challenge whereby best nursing practice is hampered by the existing layout and best practice in patient management is unachievable.

“Neither building is suited to long-term environmental improvement.’ Consultation runs until December 13.