Dream turns into reality as work begins on East Coast Hospice site

Work begins at the Margaret Chadd house East Coast Hospice site

Work begins at the Margaret Chadd house East Coast Hospice site - Credit: Archant

After years of dreaming, development at the site of a new hospice in Gorleston is finally off the starting blocks.

Early phases of work at the East Coast Hospice’s Margaret Chadd House site began last week - three years after planning permission was given.

Spectators watched on as JCBs, dump trucks and lorries arrived onto the 7.54 acre site on Sidegate Road, and commenced work by laying down the tarmac for the entrance, as well as a track leading up to what will become a large free car park for staff and visitors.

It is the start of a long marathon to get the site completed, with work set to start on the drainage and groundworks of the site to take place next year. East Coast Hospice hope to get the building work underway in 2017.

Community fundraiser, Jeff Wood, said: “We are delighted that work has started on the building. It has been a long time coming since plans for the project started up in 2009, then purchasing the land and getting the planning permission.

“In the past there have been people who have said this site won’t get going but we hope that they will now see that Margaret Chadd House is not just a dream, and that it’s on way to becoming a reality, and that the hospice will ensure people have a choice at the end of life.”

East Coast Hospice is hoping to raise £4 million for the site. Around £1.2 million has been raised so far, and the hospice is hoping to keep the momentum on the site going, with the assistance of the local community and businesses.

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Mr Wood, said: “We believe we have enough to cover the foundations, but we would like to raise more money for the drainage work which we will also carry out next year.

“We are in for the long haul to get the site running, but we are hoping that the community can keep helping us in our efforts to get this going and carry on believing in what we are doing.

“We will be pushing our efforts harder next year, I will be taking up a new business fundraising role, and there will be someone who will be brought into replace me in my community fundraising role.”

Once completed the hospice will have ten in-patient rooms each with their own private gardens, a day care unit and complimentary therapies.

The large gardens will include a memorial water feature, a peace garden, a labyrinth, a kitchen garden plot and a shepherd’s hut.