CONTROVERSIAL air conditioning units on top of a city hospital will be allowed to stay after plans were backed.

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 asked for retrospective permission for the already-installed units as well as permission to build more in the future and the plan was backed by Worcester City Council's planning committee at a meeting yesterday (October 22).

Warndon councillor Andy Roberts said residents

“This has been going on for three years and I’m afraid to say there has been a loss of faith in the minds of local people," he told the planning committee.

“The original approval was given in 2017 and it should be noted that residents weren’t consulted and in fact it wasn’t until several different iterations of this that they were finally consulted in July last year – more than two years after the work commenced.

“Unfortunately, what was approved initially was not what was built. Instead work commenced on something that was pretty well entirely different.

“Almost unbelievably once there was more apparatus added, it was determined that the screening would no longer be necessary.”

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.

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

Council planners also agreed the air conditioning units would create noise but did not see that it would be loud enough to cause problems.

The retrospective plan was also criticised by councillors for being submitted after the work had been carried out.

Planning chairman Cllr Chris Mitchell said the hospital trust had put the council in a “untenable position."

Cllr Pat Agar said she was unimpressed with how the project had been handled.

She supported the application but said more noise tests needed to be carried out immediately.

The plan was backed by the planning committee by nine to votes to nil with two abstentions.