CALLS to build the new Hillingdon Hospital on the RAF Uxbridge site are supported by the town's MP - even though he doubts it will ever happen.
A number of readers have contacted the Gazette in recent weeks calling for the site, in Hillingdon Road, to be used to build a new hospital when it becomes vacant next year.
Conservative MP for Uxbridge, John Randall, believes it is a possibility that should still be explored. However, he expects a lack of support from the health service to scupper any attempt.
He said: "I've always believed the RAF site would be an excellent location, but it's down to the hospital trust.
"I hope even at this late stage the idea could be re-examined, although I under-stand there are almost insurmountable problems. However, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we must try and get it right.
"I can fully understand why most people have said it is a good idea. I think the whole idea of rebuilding on the current hospital site is ghastly."
Harry Dixon, 75, a former RAF Wing Commander from Uxbridge, said: "I'd like to see the site become something worthwhile - we don't want more houses, and we already have a good theatre at the Beck, Hayes.
"Rebuilding at the current hospital site will cause terrible interruptions - when I was there the other morning, patients were forced to wait because a doctor couldn't find anywhere to park.
"If it is like that now, what will it be like with all the building work?
"If they build at RAF Uxbridge they could get on with it peacefully without interruptions, and when it's done move across quietly."
However, Tony Valentine, chair of the Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust, poured cold water on the idea, saying it would simply be too expensive.
He said: "It is simply not affordable. A replacement of a whole hospital in a single build phase would cost upwards of £500 million, and if it was to be built at the RAF Uxbridge site, the cost would be much higher because of premium market rates."