THE proposal for an elevated helipad at Airedale Hospital, Steeton, seems to be ill considered (plan to build helipad at hospital, Craven Herald, June 10).

The proposed siting of the structure will restrict future development of medical facilities at the critical centre of the hospital site.

This indicates a lack of forward planning. Why was provision not made for a helipad on the roof of the most recent extension to A&E?

Why go to the expense of building an elevated structure when a purpose designed pad with appropriate lighting and improved access could be created on the field currently used?

A dedicated vehicle and teams for transfer could be provided. All this could be achieved at far less cost than the profligate proposal.

The Royal Blackburn Hospital seems to manage with a ground level helipad situated some distance away from A&E.

Building an elevated helipad on a site which is open 24 hours a day to pedestrians (including school children) and vehicles presents hazards including the down draught and flying debris.

More serious is the source of potential risk it presents for the mentally ill and suicidal patients on site.

The proposed design is more suited to a secure industrial site or oil rig rather than a semi-rural residential area.

The former helipad near A&E was not big enough for the newer helicopters. Having spent the money on that presumably no further funds were available to create a more suitable landing pad in the field.

Maintaining the structure will be more expensive than for a ground level pad.

The cynic in me suggests the driving force is to sell off the field for housing.

If it is to be built, then at least let it be clad so that the vulnerable do not hang or throw themselves from it and local youths cannot scale it for a dare.

D Hepworth