Plans to sell off hospital land for housing would be a "travesty", a councillor has said.

A six-acre plot at the Dereham Hospital site has been earmarked to be sold to make way for new homes.

Last year, an NHS review listed the land as "surplus" and described it as being suitable for up to 96 homes and it was reported that landowners are "actively seeking to dispose of the plot".

But the leader of the Independent & Green Group at Breckland Council has said this would be a shortsighted move and that it could instead be used to create a new health facility.

Dereham Times: Breckland councillor Roger AtterwillBreckland councillor Roger Atterwill (Image: Newsquest)

Roger Atterwill said: "It would be a travesty of the whole site is turned into housing. Selling the land off would be shortsighted and it instead could be redeveloped into a modern health care facility.

"With all the growth in Dereham, there is a need for improved NHS services and since it is geographically in the centre of Norfolk, it would be well-placed to serve the wider area."

Currently, there are three GP surgeries in the town and Mr Atterwill has suggested these could be combined into one at this site while also creating additional clinics, such as an x-ray unit.

He also believes the site could provide space for care accommodation - something that is needed in the town.

"It would all make sense," he said.

Dereham Times: An aerial view of DerehamAn aerial view of Dereham (Image: Mike Page)

Dereham is one of Norfolk's fastest-growing towns with hundreds of homes being built or planned for the future in the area.

The influx of people moving into these homes will likely put an increasing strain on health services in the area.

Developers must support NHS services through contributions and Mr Atterwill has said these could be pooled in order to help fund the project. 

Norfolk Community Health and Care, who own the Dereham Hospital site, have been approached for a comment.