ST Richard's Hospice has overcome one of the final barriers in its bid to build a £5.25m Worcester care centre.

City councillors yesterday unanimously approved planning permission for a new hospice to cover just over three acres of land at Wildwood Drive, off Spetchley Road, near County Hall.

Palliative care

The hospice, helping people suffering from cancer and life-limiting illnesses, will include all of the services currently offered at St Richard's current base in Rose Hill. The new centre will also home a 15-bed palliative care unit, the first of its kind in South Worcestershire.

Welcoming the decision, Rachel Bucknall, the charity's care director, said the unit and hospice will provide a boost for families.

"The new bedded hospice will make a huge difference to patients and their families living in South Worcestershire. It means we will be able to offer a complete cycle of care," she said.

Paul O'Connor, principal planning officer at the city council, said: "The scheme that has been approved will provide a building and a well-landscaped amenity area that will meet all the needs of the patients and safeguard the wildlife interests of the site."

The charity announced after yesterday's meeting that Worcester businessman Andrew Grant, owner of one of the county's biggest estate agencies, will head up its appeal to raise the remaining cash for the project.

However, the charity declined to say how much it has raised so far.

Mr Grant has been involved with the hospice since it was first founded in a Castle Street terrace house and was involved in fund-raising efforts when it moved to Rose Hill in 1991.


"I'm all too aware of the acute need for the new hospice and its specialist beds," said Mr Grant.

"I want to do anything I can to make sure this project becomes a reality. I will be calling on Worcestershire people to help us reach our target. This is a project that will truly benefit the community."