AN appeal has been launched against a decision to axe plans for a state-of-the-art private hospital on the edge of Southampton, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal.

Barker-Mill Estates has decided to fight to get the hospital on its land at Adanac Park, which promises to create more than 400 jobs and bring millions of pounds of investment into the local economy.

Planning councillors at Test Valley Borough Council refused an extension of use application for part of the land in Nursling to include medical facilities, citing insufficient evidence to show an “overriding need” for a hospital.

The land, which has stood unused for four years, currently only has permission for business use but one of Europe’s biggest healthcare providers, Circle Health, dubbed the John Lewis of healthcare, has earmarked the site for its latest private hospital project.

Outline plans include a three or four storey building with 427 parking spaces, which they claim will create 413 jobs and £70m investment in the Test Valley area.

Tim Jobling, a trustee of Barker- Mill Estates, said: “Since February we have taken time to consider our position and speak extensively with the local community about what they want to see built on the undeveloped land as well as other local matters. In addition to the strong support for the development of a hospital expressed by local residents, nearly three quarters of all respondents in a survey we conducted stated that they would welcome greater employment in the area.

“With an opportunity to deliver hundreds of new jobs we are keen to do all we can to progress with the development, which would see the land put to good use.”

Another concern for councillors was traffic congestion during visiting hours and noise from ambulances at all hours of the day.

Christina Lineen, of Circle Health, said these fears were unfounded because it only performs elective surgery. She also said as there were no visiting time restrictions any traffic would be staggered throughout the day.

The company designs hospitals to look more like hotels and its facility in Bath boasts a harpist and a Michelin-starred chef. It treats private and NHS patients and the hospitals are managed and led by clinicians and staff who all own a share in the business.

Councillor Neville Whiteley, chair of the planning committee said: “I would expect to hear these things from an applicant but we have to make sure that we get the right situation for the right site and I don’t think members felt this was the right option for Adanac Park.”