Bartlet Hospital still not sold
SALE of Felixstowe's closed Bartlet Hospital has still not been completed - more than a year after a preferred buyer was chosen.Health officials have now revealed that the sale will only go through if planning permission is granted to convert the former convalescent unit into luxury seafront apartments.
SALE of Felixstowe's closed Bartlet Hospital has still not been completed - more than a year after a preferred buyer was chosen.
Health officials have now revealed that the sale will only go through if planning permission is granted to convert the former convalescent unit into luxury seafront apartments.
No planning application has yet been submitted for the property on Bath Hill, and now campaigners are preparing to put in their own plans for their own project for the building.
Campaigner Mike Ninnmey , from the Bartlet Bequest Action Group, said the group was very surprised it was taking the PJ Livesey Group so long to reveal its plans and complete the purchase.
“It does help us though because we are still determined to secure the building for the community,” he said.
“We have asked Suffolk Coastal if we need to submit a planning application for change of use to a convalescent home or whether its current use covers that, and are also seeking help and advice from English Heritage over the listed building status.
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“Our next move is to secure the necessary finance and this is being looked into at the moment.”
Group chairman Barry Farr said the aim was to use the Bartlet for a “social enterprise project”.
“We are continuing to work to secure this building for the community rather than see it converted into flats - one question asked at our annual meeting was why are Felixstowe's councillors not taking a lead in fighting to retain the building for the community, but I guess only they can answer that,” he said.
Martin Royal, director of business development at Suffolk Primary Care Trust, said: “We have sold the building subject to contract.
“It takes time to carefully draft the fine detail of the contract for sale, which we have been working on, as it is a complex process.
“The preferred developers are continuing to work with the local planning authority to put together the planning application balancing the needs of its future users and ensuring the historically-significant building is properly protected which the PCT is fully supporting.
“Since the conditional sale offer was based on securing planning permission for the development of the site this element of the process is very important.”
What should the Bartlet be used for? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk