The appeal brought by a group of Windsor residents opposed to the location of the planned new mega-hospital will proceed to a full oral hearing before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

The tribunal, in a decision released Tuesday, said “based on the breadth and nature of the likely issues before it in this appeal, it requires the benefit of an oral hearing.”

“Our client is extremely pleased with this outcome” said Eric Gillespie, legal counsel for CAMPP -- the Citizens for an Accountable mega-Hospital Planning Process.

“The Tribunal has agreed many significant issues have been raised by CAMPP,” added Gillespie. “For those, including the mayor, who did not seem to understand the importance of this appeal, it’s now clear from an objective perspective they were wrong. CAMPP looks forward to continuing its appeal to a successful conclusion.”

LPAT has directed the parties to continue to work on a formal list of issues, which if not agreed to within 15 days, can be addressed before the tribunal in writing.

The parties have also been directed to prepare an agreed statement of facts within 45 days.

The tribunal also confirmed the status of 28 participants who were previously accepted by the tribunal.

Windsor Regional Hospital issued a statement on the LPAT process update:

“Windsor Regional Hospital is pleased with the interim decision of LPAT on some preliminary matters and creating focus on the issues that will be subject of appeal. The Hospital is pleased that this matter is moving forward. Any delay to this very important infrastructure project for the Windsor/Essex healthcare system needs to be avoided any delay negatively impacts patient care. Since this is a relatively new process following new legislation it is hard to comment much further. “

The challenge looks to overturn a necessary zoning approval from the City of Windsor that cleared the way for the new $2 billion single-site acute care hospital to be built on land at County Road 42 and Concession 9, near the airport.

Windsor’s council changed its Official Plan in August 2018 and re-zoned 400 hectares to make way for residential and business development in the area of the proposed hospital.

“Not getting a brand new hospital is no option for me,” said councillor Fred Francis during the summer debate. “It’s not an option for tens of thousands of our citizens that want a new hospital.”

CAMPP leaders stress their support for a new hospital, but are not satisfied with the chosen location.