A CONTROVERSIAL decision to axe plans for a state-of-the-art private hospital on the edge of Southampton will be put under the spotlight in October.

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

Its appeal against the decision by Test Valley Borough Council, who refused an extension of use application for part of the land in Nursling to include medical facilities, will be heard on October 12. Councillors cited insufficient evidence of “overriding” need for another hospital in the area.

But the landowners believe Hampshire’s fast-growing ageing population will make it a vital asset to the region.

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, has earmarked the site for its latest private hospital project.

Circle turned its attentions to Adanac Park after initial plans to build a £30m hospital at Chilworth Science Park were dropped because the site was considered inappropriate.

Outline plans for Nursling include a three or four-storey building with 427 parking spaces, which it is claimed will create 413 jobs and £70m investment in the Test Valley area, serving private and NHS patients.

Tim Jobling, a trustee of Barker-Mill Estates, said: “This is a high-quality development and we feel strongly that it will add considerable value to the region.

“In Southampton and the surrounding area evidence shows that with an ageing population an additional healthcare resource would be of great benefit to cater with increased demands locally, complementing Southampton General Hospital.”

That need has been echoed by top medical experts in the city, including Southampton NHS surgeon Simon Crawford. He said: “Patients in the city would benefit from greater choice of hospital treatment, and a Circle hospital would provide extra capacity to help us to cope with the increased demands of an ageing population.”