BRIDGWATER Civic Society has hit out at plans to surround the old Bridgwater Hospital building with razor wire, branding it a potential “eyesore”.

A new planning application submitted to Sedgemoor District Council could see a 2.4 metre high iron railing fence, topped with razor wire, around the periphery of the hospital site.

But the plan has sparked anger among local campaigners who say the security measures will be visible from the Broadway and alongside the river bank.

Philip Smeed, from Bridgwater Civic Society, said: “In consideration of the prominence of the hospital, I would have thought that installation of standard security equipment, coupled possibly with a resident caretaker, would be more than adequate.

“I am appalled that a responsible body such as the NHS should allow itself to be identified with such a crass and unsympathetic proposal such as this.

“The authorities have had years in which to consider options as to the future of the building and site, and yet we may well be subjected to an eyesore which could possibly remain with us for years to come, certainly until the future of the site is resolved.

“If approved it would set a terrible precedent.

“Any vacant building within the town could look to install comparable security, citing this example of what is deemed acceptable to our district planners.”

A spokesman for SDC said: “We can’t comment on aspects of planning applications.

“Any comments would be in the planning report if it comes to committee.

The old hospital, in Salmon Parade, has remained empty since the move to Bower Lane which took place on April 28 this year.

An NHS Property Services spokesperson said: “Following a comprehensive risk assessment of the site, it was decided that appropriate security measures were required to protect the site and deter trespassers from it.

“We appreciate that razor wire is not aesthetically pleasing and are keeping it and all other security measures under regular review.”