LOCAL residents furious about air conditioning units on top of Worcestershire Royal Hospital, have now said a retrospective application “is a smoke screen for what is actually being built”.

In October, we reported on a retrospective planning application submitted to Worcester City Council for units on the roof of the Aconbury East building at the hospital.

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Residents have now submitted a further letter to Worcester City Council planners and in it they say: “It has come to local resident’s attention this retrospective planning application is in our opinion a smoke screen for what is actually being built. The application states that it is applying for approval for “an AHU” on Aconbury East Building Roof, and it only came to our attention from the environmental noise report it is in fact three AHU’s and two chiller units. We feel this is deceitful and is suggestive of having little respect to either the planning department or local residents.”

There appears to have been some confusion, as the original application document submitted by the trust said "an AHU", but this was later change.

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A trust spokesman explained: "As part of this submission, and to ensure clarity, the wording in the retrospective application was amended from ‘air handling unit’ to ‘rooftop plant’, with the full scope of the proposal clearly identified on the council’s planning portal.

"We are confident that the completed rooftop plant will not disturb residents, and have further agreed to apply “anti-glare” paint in response to concerns about reflected glare. We are hopeful these measures will gain the support of the council, planning committee and residents.”

It remains unclear when the application will go before the authority’s planning committee, which has also led the residents to write: “Local residents would like to know why the construction was not suspended on this site until retrospective planning permission had been granted."