Demolition starts at old hospital

THE design for the new £7.5m Littlehampton Hospital has been chosen and demolition work on the site is finally underway after a number of setbacks.

Following a thorough evaluation of the three contenders and after consulting the public's views on the designs, the plans drawn up by Guildhouse Investments, along with agents Murphy Phillipps, came out as the favourite.

The three designs all worked to the same brief and offered the same level of specifications but the Guildhouse design focussed on ensuring people knew where they were in the building to prevent them getting lost.

Coloured glass will be used in some of the windows in the new building, which its designers say aims to reflect modern healthcare while still being a bit playful.

An unforeseen delay to the demolition work came in the shape of a group of nesting seagulls on the roof of the old building, which had to be left until the chicks had flown the nest about a week ago.

The work had to be halted in April after a gas main was found to be running under the site and had to be isolated and secured by gas company Transco.

Once the site has been fully cleared, a team of archaeologists will dig a number of trenches to check if there is anything historically important waiting to be discovered before building work gets going.

A number of Roman artefacts were found under what is now the health centre on the site and it is hoped that more finds will be made.

Building work is not due to start until January next year and the opening is scheduled for spring, 2007.