Beverley Westwood Hospital site to be sold
A PRIME Beverley hospital site is to be sold off, sparking calls for urgent talks over its fate.
Beverley Westwood Hospital is now surplus to requirements following the opening of the new £19 million community hospital in the town.
Humber NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the old hospital site bordering Beverley Westwood, will put the site up for sale in the coming weeks.
East Riding councillor Bryan Pearson wants health officials to meet Beverley's ward councillors before the site is disposed of.
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The former Beverley mayor said: "It is a crucial site in the town. It has a superb aspect overlooking Beverley Westwood and it must be developed sympathetically, bearing in mind its important location.
"I think all of the Beverley councillors need to sit around a table with the health trust to let them know that, rather than extracting the last farthing for this site, they need to put Beverley first and monetary return second.
"We need to think outside the box to secure the right development for this site as well as a reasonable price for it."
The site may be attractive to housing developers but Mr Pearson said other uses, such as offices, could boost the local economy and create less of a traffic headache for nearby residents.
He said: "It's a tricky site and will not be easy to develop.
"Any development will have to take into consideration the narrowness of the surrounding streets.
"It's all very narrow, with parked cars all over the place, so if the development is going to introduce a lot of vehicles, there will have to be adequate parking on the site."
A spokeswoman for Humber NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the Beverley Westwood Hospital site, said: "As a consequence of the new hospital opening, the Beverley Westwood hospital site is now surplus to our requirements.
"We will be meeting East Riding Council in the next two to three weeks and then the site will be put up for sale. No planning permission will be attached.
"The proceeds of the sale will be reinvested in healthcare in the local area."
Pete Ashcroft, head of planning and development management at East Riding Council, said the authority has been approached by agents for the health trust for talks.
He said: "Discussions at this stage will centre around what potential uses might be appropriate for the site in principle and any particular planning constraints that may exist, such as access and listed buildings.
"Any future development proposals for the site will be subject to the normal planning process."