Councillors have voted unanimously in favour of plans for a new hospital on the former bottling site in Buxton.
The outline application –which would see services currently provided by the town’s two hospitals and three GP surgeries combined on the Station Road site – was agreed at a meeting of High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee on Monday.
The plans represented ‘by far the best idea’ which had been put forward, councillors stated.
Councillor Caroline Howe said: “Something needs to happen with the brownfield site and the idea which has been put before us to update hospital facilities is by far the best idea we have seen for the site.”
The old Buxton Water bottling site on Station Road was sold for £1.8m to Derbyshire Community Health Services, who are leading the proposal for the new £20m health campus.
However Coun Jean Todd said: “I am unsure if this the best place for a centralised health facility and nothing will be able to replace the two hospitals and GP surgeries. I am just concerned that the people of Buxton will be losing services rather than gaining them.”
Speaker Guy Dunk raised objections to the plans at the meeting, highlighting the fact that Peak Rail still owned the railway line from Buxton to Matlock and was looking at reopening it “within the next three to five years”.
He said: “Buxton is a tourist destination town and now more than ever, with the opening of the Crescent, the railway provides a sustainable way for tourism to develop. Having a hospital on the site would be bad for the town and bad for the economy.”
A second application for an extra care retirement village, in relation to another part of the Station Road site, will be dealt with separately by the council.