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UPDATE: 'At least I can say I tried' - Petition against conversion of former maternity unit into flats raises 1,000 signatures

PUBLISHED: 15:07 20 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:16 20 January 2017

Proposed development on the former Gravesend hospital site

Proposed development on the former Gravesend hospital site

Archant

The council gave the go-ahead for redevelopment last week

More than a thousand residents have rallied against plans to redevelop the former home of Gravesend and North Kent Hospital into flats.

Last week Gravesham council gave the go-ahead to convert the 0.35-hectare former maternity unit, known as M-Block into up to 80 residential units of one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Money raised from the sale of the site is expected to be reinvested back into the NHS.

But local campaigners have slammed the proposal, saying it neglects a struggling NHS, as well as putting pressure on staff at the nearby community hospital.

An online petition which was set up on Sunday, calling for ‘more medical facilities, not more flats’ has now gained more than 1,000 signatures.

The petition was only posted online two days ago by Northfleet resident Jacqueline Saunders.

The 66-year-old said: “The building wasn’t that old when it closed, so why it wasn’t kept open then I don’t know, we all the know there’s pressure on hospitals due to shortages and bed blocking.

“I was born there, my children and granddaughter were born there, now everyone has to go to Dartford, it doesn’t make sense.”

Already a keen local campaigner, Mrs Saunders, explained why she set up the petition.

“I’ve had operations postponed on the day, it’s traumatic because you build yourself up to these things.

“The response has been absolutely amazing I just saw all these people complaining about the news last week and thought - why don’t we do something?

“We might not win, but at least I can say I tried.”

To view the petition, click here.

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