Daily Express - 15 May 2015
Funding the NHS is likely to be a political hot potato now that the General Election is finally over but one partial solution to the £800million hospital sector deficit expected in 2016 is the sale of defunct buildings and excess land.
It is a process that is already well under way, with hospitals earmarked for redevelopment including Derbyshire Royal Infirmary in Derby and Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
There are applications to build homes on both sites, with hospitals in Canterbury and Reading expected to follow.
One of the reasons that hospital redevelopments for residential use are so successful is their location, says Rob Armstrong of Bellway Homes. Bellway is building four and five-bedroom family homes on the 147-acre site of the former St Mary’s Hospital in Stannington Park near Newcastle. “Location is one of the key aspects we look at when considering a development,” says Armstrong, Bellway’s Sales Director. “Stannington, though it is on the edge of the Northumberland National Park, benefits from being only 30 minutes from Newcastle and is only two miles from the A1.
“Hospitals, by their nature, are usually sited near to large conurbations and can include extensive grounds, as in the case of Stannington Park. It is a mature site where we have been able to take advantage of existing landscaping to create a typical village setting.”
The houses have been designed exclusively for the development and start from £369,995. Amenities will include a community centre and crèche in a converted chapel, sports facilities including a cricket pavilion, children’s play areas, nature enclosures, and improved local transport.
While Stannington Park is a village-like development on the footprint of a large hospital’s grounds, smaller old Victorian hospitals can be restored into very handsome apartments.
Landmark Estates has planning permission to regenerate the redundant Fordingbridge Hospital in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, into 11 flats and 4 single storey houses, with prices starting from £150,000.
The 1885 Grade II listed Victorian building was originally a workhouse, but became Fordingbridge Infirmary in 1948 when the NHS was created.
From 2007, the hospital services were gradually moved to new healthcare buildings nearby and the well-known historic building has been empty for about two years.
Fordingbridge has around 70 listed buildings, and there were fears that the hospital, regarded as one of the town’s most handsome sites, would be left to deteriorate.
“We are thrilled to be taking on the regeneration of such an important building, “says James Bradley, Managing Director of Landmark Estate. “ We will be able to restore the historic façade and maintain it for future generations.”
Fordingbridge is 10 miles from Salisbury on the River Avon and has a medieval seven-arch bridge over the river. It is known as the northern gateway to the New Forest.
King Edward VII Estate has an equally idyllic setting, with views over the rolling South Downs National Park in West Sussex.
King Edward VII officially opened the former tuberculosis sanatorium in 1906.
It was heralded as “one of the three finest buildings of the time” and was designed by two of the finest architects of the day, Charles Holden and Percy Adams.
The hospital has been restored and converted by City & Country, and offers 162 apartments and houses within the original listed buildings.
A further 247 properties will be built on the land surrounding the estate by CALA Homes and Millgate.
City & Country properties start from £220,000 and go up to £1,500,000 while the CALA prices are from £500,000 to £1,300,000 and Millgate prices start from £1,600,000.
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