A HOSPITAL trust has sold land purchased to provide a £100million treatment centre so it can be used for housing instead.

Southend Hospital had initially earmarked the 15 acres of land - the size of ten football pitches - for a diagnostic and treatment centre off Fossetts Way.

These plans have since been abandoned and the site has been sold to the Government Agency Homes England for £7,875,000.

It had been hoped the centre would take the strain off south Essex hospitals but the plans never came to fruition.

Instead health commissioners are working on a treat and transfer plan where we move from all purpose hospitals in Southend and Basildon to ones where patients get emergency care at their nearest hospital and are then moved off to whichever one now deals with their illness.

With the site in Fossetts Way now being surplus to requirement it was decided it would be sold with the money expected to be pumped back into the NHS.

Allert Riepma, senior development manager for Homes England, said: “Homes England has acquired Fossetts Farm and is tasked to boost local housing supply and will progress an outline planning application before the site is taken to the market.

“It is anticipated that once planning is obtained the site will be marketed in the course of next year.”

The site could be suitable for as many as 400 homes on the land which backs onto Waitrose, Eastern Avenue, next to another development which includes 200 homes and the proposed new stadium for Southend United FC.

James Courtenay, Southend’s councillor for growth, said: “We are happy for Southend to expand but not at any cost. We need to have the infrastructure - not just roads but everything else including schools and doctors surgeries.

“Overall, the Government is really pushing for extra houses which always causes concern in communities but we do need it. What we have to be careful about is not just chucking up houses on top of even more houses.”