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Felixstowe: Bartlet Hospital sells for twice as much as expected

PUBLISHED: 11:30 14 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:35 14 January 2013

Peter Blemings, director of Gipping Homes, which has bought the former Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe to convert into luxury homes.

Peter Blemings, director of Gipping Homes, which has bought the former Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe to convert into luxury homes.

Archant

HEALTH officials have received £1.16million from the sale of Felixstowe’s redundant Bartlet Hospital – and there could be more cash to come.

NHS Suffolk have put a clause in the contract which entitles the health authorities to receive a portion of the income if consent is obtained for any significant further development on the site.

The purchase price is nearly twice the £600,000 initial asking price.

Gipping Homes today confirmed completion of their purchase of the former convalescent hospital on Bath Hill, Felixstowe.

The award-winning homes company, which is based at Baylham, near Ipswich, will convert the Grade II-starred building into 21 luxury flats, turn the old nurses’ home into seven properties and build three new town houses in a terrace in the grounds.

Site clearance work has already started, along with increased security measures, essential repairs and maintenance works, which will continue while approval is sought from Suffolk Coastal for improvements to the existing consent.

Peter Blemings, a director of Gipping Homes, said the company was delighted to secure such an iconic building which has played an important role in the history of Felixstowe.

“Because of our considerable experience in the delivery and operation of care homes we did look at the site, some years ago, to see if it was feasible to retain its existing use,” he said.

“But it became apparent that the layout was not suitable for redevelopment to provide facilities in line with current expectations, some 90 years on from when the hospital was originally built, especially in view of the need to limit the extent of refurbishment works due to the building’s protected status.

“Those of us who have seen relatives benefit from convalescing at The Bartlet over the years clearly lament the loss of this facility but over three generations on, more appropriate care facilities are available throughout the county offering similar services to those provided as a result of the vision of Dr Bartlet, back in the 1920s.”

It is hoped that works will start in earnest before the summer and with the first properties becoming available in 2014.

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Tourism leaders in Suffolk have teamed up to entice high-spending younger visitors to the county and place it on their “must-visit” list.

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