Southend Hospital may sell land set for health centre

Southend Hospital

Southend Hospital

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SOUTHEND Hospital looks set to sell off 15 acres of land at Fossetts Farm to help pay for multi-million pound healthcare improvements.

In 2005, the hospital bought the land – neighbouring the proposed Southend United stadium – to develop a health centre that would have taken the strain off its outpatients’ department.

A five-year plan for the hospital, leaked to the Echo, says selling the land off Fossetts Way is one of its key priorities, with cash raised ploughed back into the hospital budget for other projects.

The trust board is trying to remove a restrictive covenant on the land which means it can only be developed as a health centre and nothing else.

This has led to fears it will be sold to the highest bidder and could mean the construction of more out of town developments.

According to the plan, the “asset” would be looked at for commercial development in 2017 with funds raised used to pay for other proposals, including a £2million vascular centre, stroke centre and high-tech cancer equipment.

The hospital insists no decision has been made over the future of the land, but Jacqueline Totterdell, hospital chief executive, confirmed the asset in question was the land at Fossetts Farm. A trust spokeswoman said: “This work will look at all of the assets the trust owns and the merit of obtaining income from their sale or development.

“This is an exploratory venture with a view to providing a funding option in the latter years of the plan.”

The land was bought in December 2005 for £2.4million to develop a treatment centre for outpatients and day case surgery, which would have been run by a private company.

The spokeswoman added: “The project failed as the private sector provider service proved to be too expensive and the trust, with the then primary care trust, decided the project would not be financially viable.

“The trust has yet to review its options on the future of Fossetts Farm and will not make any firm decisions for a further two years.”

Director of estates and facilities, Jan China, said: “The trust has no firm plans as yet and will not commence this work until a restricted covenant is removed at the end of 2015.

“As we have not completed any work, we do not know if we will develop a new build or sell the land, therefore the ‘real’ value is unknown.”

Jon Fuller, coordinator for South East Essex Friends of the Earth, fears it could end up being a new DIY superstore or leisure facility that would increase traffic.

He said: “We oppose the construction of major out-of-town shops, swimming pools and other facilities that generate new car use and increase social exclusion by making it impossible for those without cars to gain access.

“The history of such development in Southend and Rochford has been very poor and we need to do better in the future.”

Comments (6)

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2:57pm Wed 16 Jul 14

GrumpyofLeigh says...

I assume that the land was bought from the Council who let it go for a very specific purpose (and hence the covenant) - if the Trust cannot use it, return it rather than attempting to profit from it. Perhaps that profit opportunity should lie elsewhere.
I assume that the land was bought from the Council who let it go for a very specific purpose (and hence the covenant) - if the Trust cannot use it, return it rather than attempting to profit from it. Perhaps that profit opportunity should lie elsewhere. GrumpyofLeigh
  • Score: 2

4:09pm Wed 16 Jul 14

runwellian says...

Anything that can improve access to health care has to be considered as the population reaches breaking point.

Southend Hospital is in the middle of a built up area, we need to provide more facilities nearer to folks homes to ease the traffic, take the strain away from the main hospital and provide more options and of care outside of a major hospital environment.

I really hope this plan goes ahead, we have enough superstores and all that sort of stuff so lets have something that will benefit the community as a whole.
Anything that can improve access to health care has to be considered as the population reaches breaking point. Southend Hospital is in the middle of a built up area, we need to provide more facilities nearer to folks homes to ease the traffic, take the strain away from the main hospital and provide more options and of care outside of a major hospital environment. I really hope this plan goes ahead, we have enough superstores and all that sort of stuff so lets have something that will benefit the community as a whole. runwellian
  • Score: 1

5:04pm Wed 16 Jul 14

jolllyboy says...

So not worried about the airport increasing traffic only a retail park !
So that is where the money has been going 2.4m would have been better spent in the Hospital we already have and gone towards saving the melt down the hospital now has (interesting that online Echo did not report adverse reports on southend hospital that it put in the paper ie hip operations being classed now as cosmetic)
We need walk in centres both ends of town to ease A&E lesser urgent cases.
So not worried about the airport increasing traffic only a retail park ! So that is where the money has been going 2.4m would have been better spent in the Hospital we already have and gone towards saving the melt down the hospital now has (interesting that online Echo did not report adverse reports on southend hospital that it put in the paper ie hip operations being classed now as cosmetic) We need walk in centres both ends of town to ease A&E lesser urgent cases. jolllyboy
  • Score: 5

1:04am Thu 17 Jul 14

Nebs says...

GrumpyofLeigh wrote:
I assume that the land was bought from the Council who let it go for a very specific purpose (and hence the covenant) - if the Trust cannot use it, return it rather than attempting to profit from it. Perhaps that profit opportunity should lie elsewhere.
Hansard 15 Nov 2005 Mark Francois (Shadow Minister, Treasury; Rayleigh, Conservative)
Is the hon. Lady aware that in the run-up to the general election, the Government were pushing very heavily a brand new diagnostic and treatment centre at Fossett's Farm, in Southend, to relieve pressure on Southend hospital, but once the election was safely out of the way, they promptly cancelled it? Does she think that a shocking and awful thing to do? The people of Essex certainly do.
[quote][p][bold]GrumpyofLeigh[/bold] wrote: I assume that the land was bought from the Council who let it go for a very specific purpose (and hence the covenant) - if the Trust cannot use it, return it rather than attempting to profit from it. Perhaps that profit opportunity should lie elsewhere.[/p][/quote]Hansard 15 Nov 2005 Mark Francois (Shadow Minister, Treasury; Rayleigh, Conservative) Is the hon. Lady aware that in the run-up to the general election, the Government were pushing very heavily a brand new diagnostic and treatment centre at Fossett's Farm, in Southend, to relieve pressure on Southend hospital, but once the election was safely out of the way, they promptly cancelled it? Does she think that a shocking and awful thing to do? The people of Essex certainly do. Nebs
  • Score: 4

3:23am Fri 18 Jul 14

rodgdodge says...

15 acres!
That`s a huge amount of land just for a health centre.
Probably larger than the whole site at Southend General itself?
15 acres! That`s a huge amount of land just for a health centre. Probably larger than the whole site at Southend General itself? rodgdodge
  • Score: 2

8:16am Sat 19 Jul 14

southend brummie says...

runwellian wrote:
Anything that can improve access to health care has to be considered as the population reaches breaking point.

Southend Hospital is in the middle of a built up area, we need to provide more facilities nearer to folks homes to ease the traffic, take the strain away from the main hospital and provide more options and of care outside of a major hospital environment.

I really hope this plan goes ahead, we have enough superstores and all that sort of stuff so lets have something that will benefit the community as a whole.
I find it hard to think of anywhere less accessible to most folks in Southend than Fossetts Farm (except maybe north of East Beach). Improving access to health care requires facilities "in the middle of a built up area".

It's terrifying how many sick and chronically ill people drive to Southend hospital - lethally dangerous.
[quote][p][bold]runwellian[/bold] wrote: Anything that can improve access to health care has to be considered as the population reaches breaking point. Southend Hospital is in the middle of a built up area, we need to provide more facilities nearer to folks homes to ease the traffic, take the strain away from the main hospital and provide more options and of care outside of a major hospital environment. I really hope this plan goes ahead, we have enough superstores and all that sort of stuff so lets have something that will benefit the community as a whole.[/p][/quote]I find it hard to think of anywhere less accessible to most folks in Southend than Fossetts Farm (except maybe north of East Beach). Improving access to health care requires facilities "in the middle of a built up area". It's terrifying how many sick and chronically ill people drive to Southend hospital - lethally dangerous. southend brummie
  • Score: 1

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