Next stage of Bartlet sell off

SURVEY work is today being undertaken ready for the next stage in the sell-off of the Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe.A company has been employed to make a detailed survey of the site so plans can be drawn up to be submitted to Suffolk Coastal council showing how the former convalescent home can be turned into luxury seafront flats.

SURVEY work is today being undertaken ready for the next stage in the sell-off of the Bartlet Hospital at Felixstowe.

A company has been employed to make a detailed survey of the site so plans can be drawn up to be submitted to Suffolk Coastal council showing how the former convalescent home can be turned into luxury seafront flats.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust has chosen PJ Livesey Group as its preferred development partner for the building, which is on the market for around £2 million.

Mark Crawley, Felixstowe project leader and chairman of the evaluation group which analysed the bids for the hospital, said the next stage would be a planning application.

He said: “We have been talking to Suffolk Coastal's planning officers about the possible future of the building, which is a normal procedure at this stage, and in due course a planning application will be made.

“At the moment, we cannot be precise about timescales but this will happen before negotiations are completed with our preferred development partner as they will want to know how they can develop the building.

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“We are working closely with them on this issue because the Bartlet is an important building to the town.”

Mr Crawley said the PCT appreciated that closure of the Bartlet as a centre providing medical services was a sensitive issue and understood there could be a challenge in the high court over its closure.

However, the trust's lawyers had investigated the matter and the Bartlet was owned by the PCT. They were confident a challenge would not be upheld by the courts and so the PCT had to proceed with the sale as planned.

Eight different companies were shown around the building on Bath Hill after 150 brochures were sent out to interested firms.

There was a considerable amount of interest from nursing home operators but none followed it up because of the small size of the main hospital building, its unsuitable layout, the inability to extend the main site because there is no adjoining land, and restrictions because of the architecture and the grade two listed status would have made it expensive to run.

Do you think the Bartlet should be converted into homes? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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