A ROW has continued to rumble on between a hospital and neighbours over ‘noisy’ air conditioning units but they still look likely to be ‘approved’ next week.

Several air conditioning units have already been built on the roof of the four-storey Aconbury East building at Worcestershire Royal Hospital despite residents in Warndon complaining they would be too noisy and disruptive.

The hospital trust has since asked for retrospective permission for the already-installed units as well as permission to build more in the future and council planning officers have recommended the plan is approved when its planning committee meets next week (October 22).

Residents raised concerns over the air conditioning units saying their homes are plagued by glaring from the sun and complained noise assessments were not accurate and had not been carried out properly.

Residents added that claims by the hospital trust that only a few people would be affected were untrue.

Whilst the trust already has permission from the council to refurbish Aconbury East, a complaint by a neighbour about the air conditioning units not being part of the plans led to the retrospective application being submitted.

A dispute between the noise of a unit on the roof of the main hospital building, which resulted in a complaint to the council a year ago, has only just begun to be resolved, the neighbours said.

The unit on the main hospital building in Charles Hasting Way in Worcester, which was the subject of the complaint, is noisy, neighbours say, despite being 300 metres away and residents fear the units on Aconbury East will be even more disruptive as they are just 75 metres from homes.

The hospital trust has since said building screens could cost up to £400,000 and would be too expensive whilst council planning officers were sympathetic saying that putting up screens would likely cause more harm.

Council planning officers, in a report due to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on October 22, said top of the building could be seen from homes but disruption was not “unacceptable” nor harmful.

Warndon councillor Andy Roberts said the units were “entirely inappropriate” and unsympathetic to the area.

“The design, nature and configuration of the development is entirely unsympathetic to a site that was designed to fit into a largely residential environment,” he said. “I cannot believe that plans for a proposal of such an industrial nature would have been accepted if put before the committee in other than a retrospective application. That the development has been done outside planning approvals does not mean that it conforms to an acceptable standard.”