Planning permission has been granted for a 54-bed adult inpatient secure mental health unit to be built on land east of the A602 and south of Gravely Road in Stevenage, close to Lister Hospital.

Stevenage Borough Council's Planning and Development Committee approved the application at a meeting last week, on the condition that the applicant agrees to "secure/provide financial contributions towards local employment and apprenticeships", it said.

The specialist unit, provided by the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, will be built after the NHS "identified an acute need for the facility," and will ensure "a balanced provision of adult mental health beds between the east and west of the county", the application says.

The new unit will “increase bed provision to address ongoing bed pressures and reduce need for out-of-Trust beds”, it says, providing acute care in surroundings which will include courtyards, social spaces, quiet zones and a therapy zone.