Housing could be built on three Norfolk hospital sites

Dereham Hospital. Photo: Donna-Louise Bishop

Dereham Hospital. Photo: Donna-Louise Bishop - Credit: Donna-Louise Bishop

Land at three Norfolk hospitals could be replaced by new housing, according to NHS documents.

Plots of land at Dereham and Kelling hospitals are both listed in the NHS’s latest property review as “surplus”, while part of Hellesdon Hospital is also said to present an “opportunity”. 

The Dereham and Kelling sites are described as being suitable for a “mixed” use “with housing” and the landowners are said to be “actively seeking to dispose of the plot[s]”.

A six-acre site at Dereham hospital is estimated to have space for some 96 homes, while a five-acre plot at Kelling Hospital is large enough for 88.

Holt Medical Practise, Kelling Hospital
Doctors based at Kelling Hospital speak out against ward clo

Holt Medical Practise, Kelling Hospital Doctors based at Kelling Hospital speak out against ward closures GV of ward For:Edp Copy:Edp Elaine Archant © 2006 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2006

The document suggests the land could be sold before the end of the current financial year in April 2023. 

But a spokeswoman for the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs the two hospitals, said “no decisions” had been made about the sites.

She added the trust would “strive to ensure that any plans that may be progressed at these sites will result in further enhancement of the services we deliver”.

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And she pointed out that the Trust continued to invest in the two hospitals, such as a recent extension to the GP surgery at Kelling. 

Hellesdon Hospital has meanwhile been identified as an “opportunity” site, to potentially become “surplus” in the future. 

The 32-acre section of the hospital could theoretically accommodate around 350 homes. 

Cath Byford, deputy chief executive of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) - which provides mental health services across the two counties - said: “We are looking at the possibility of disposing of parts of the Hellesdon Hospital site as part of our longer-term strategy for the site.

Cath Byford

Cath Byford, chief nurse at the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. - Credit: Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group

“Our intention is to maximise the value of the land by submitting a planning application so that we can make the best possible use of NHS resources if a decision is taken to market it at a later date.”

Three other healthcare facilities are listed on the document. The first of those is a set of two properties previously owned by the NSFT at Allington Smith Close in Oulton, which were sold in March.

Ms Byford said the trust was “delighted” that they will be used to provide residential care for people with learning disabilities.

The trust expects nearby Copperfield House to be put on the open market within the next few months and sold as a home.

Ms Byford added that no decision had yet been made on the future of Meridian House in Lowestoft.