£4m Beverley Westwood Hospital site to go on market
A FORMER Beverley hospital site is expected to attract bids in excess of £4m when it goes on the market this month.
Potential buyers will be invited to put forward proposals for the 4.4-acre former Beverley Westwood Hospital site.
Possible uses include residential, office or hotel-type schemes but nothing is being ruled out at this stage.
The preferred bidder would need to obtain planning permission from East Riding Council for their scheme.
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Chartered surveyor Simon Weightman, whose firm is handling the sale on behalf of the Humber NHS Foundation Trust, is expecting to receive at least ten bids for the site.
He said: "I am expecting local, regional and national interest in the site.
"It looks over Beverley Racecourse and the Westwood, which will never be built on.
"It's an attractive edge-of-town site with easy access to the town centre."
Mr Weightman, director at Hessle commercial property consultants Clark Weightman, said a masterplan has not been drawn up to guide would-be developers.
He said: "I try not to be too prescriptive because you want innovative ideas from developers.
"The site will not be sold until planning permission has been granted.
"There is no planning permission at the moment for it."
The site contains listed buildings of architectural interest, including West House and the archway entrance to the historic site.
These buildings would be retained for conversion as part of the new scheme.
But other buildings on the site are likely to be demolished to make way for new development.
The site, which dates back to the 19th century, was the site of the town's community hospital and minor injuries unit until this summer.
It is now redundant following the opening of the £20m new East Riding Community Hospital in Swinemoor Lane.
As the site owner is a foundation trust, proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in local health services.
Mr Weightman said: "We have a duty to get the best value for the site because we are dealing with the public purse here.
"Whatever money comes back will be ploughed back into the local health community."
The trust is aiming to complete the sale as soon as possible and the relevant planning consent has been obtained.
This is to help prevent deter- ioration of the buildings, as well as enabling the trust to continue its investment in community and mental health services in the area.
Clark Weightman will put the site on the market later this month.
It is inviting bids by informal tender from potential buyers before the end of February next year.
The property consultants and health trust will be holding talks with local councillors and groups, including Beverley and District Civic Society members, about the move.
Civic society member Dr Barbara English would like to see social housing or first-time buyer properties provided on the site if it is developed for residential use.
She said: "I think they should consider that site was built by the town for the town.
"It should, if possible, be a site that remains useful to the town.
"Rather than just the maximum number of executive houses, it would be nice to see some social housing or first-time buyer-type houses on there.
"There should also be very careful consideration about what happens to the listed buildings."