The local NHS has submitted a detailed planning application to Rother District Council to build a new 54-bed mental health hospital on a site in Mount View Street, Bexhill-on-Sea, to replace out-dated services at the Department of Psychiatry in Eastbourne.
Funding for the new hospital is being made available under the national eradicating dormitories programme.
At the same time, it has submitted outline planning application for a second phase on the same site which could potentially provide a further 72 beds, depending on further funding becoming available in the future.
The NHS East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) held a formal public consultation into the proposals between June and September 2021 - and hundreds of people made their views known. Most people who responded to the consultation strongly supported the proposals, with the site in Mount View Street being the preferred location.
A further pre-planning application consultation with residents living near to the site was held in March 2022. Most local people either strongly agreed or tended to agree with the plans to build a new mental health hospital on the site.
Also, most people either strongly agreed or tended to agree with plans to potentially extend the site in the future to create a campus to provide all hospital-based mental health services in East Sussex.
While there were few objections to the principle of a new mental health hospital on the site resident expressed concerns about, among other things, access roads, traffic levels and impact on wildlife. These concerns have been addressed in the formal planning application.
Programme Director, Paula Kirkland, said: "This planning application marks a major step forward towards implementing the first phase of our wider vision to create new modern facilities to address all inpatient mental health needs on a single site for people across East Sussex and beyond.
"We are delighted that most people we have consulted have agreed that there is a need for a new mental health hospital and that the land in Mount View Street is a suitable site for the new facilities. Obviously, local people have some specific concerns but we are confident we can address those as we progress with our plans."
People now have until 19 June to comment on the plans.
Details of the planning application can be found on the Rother District Council website.
More details of the plans can also be found on the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website.
Anyone wanting to share their thoughts with SPFT can do so through its dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org