Homes scheme for Portsmouth hospital site goes on display

Residents Lynn Mills and Peter Mills with Andrew Strange, head of planning and development, for NHS Property Services, looking at plans to develop St James' Hospital
Residents Lynn Mills and Peter Mills with Andrew Strange, head of planning and development, for NHS Property Services, looking at plans to develop St James' Hospital

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PLANS to show how the St James’ Hospital site in Portsmouth could be developed were shown to the public.

Representatives from NHS Property Services, which owns the site in Locksway Road, Milton, were on hand yesterday to speak to people.

As previously reported in The News, medical services run at St James’ Hospital by Solent NHS Trust will move to St Mary’s Community Health Campus.

NHSPS is looking to sell the land to housing developers.

Peter Mills, 69, of Morgan Road in Milton, viewed the plans with his wife Lynn.

He said: ‘It’s a waste of money to develop housing on this site, they should keep it as having health services in the area.

‘There were talks years ago about having an A&E in the south of the city – they could look at that.

‘It should have some health facilities on it as too much is moving out of the area.’

Rob MacNaughtan, 58, of Meon Road, in Milton, is a retired physiatrist nurse.

He said: ‘I do have some concerns, but I also understand there needs to be a change.

‘I know there will be some open space that is protected, but I want to know if a garden that is cared for by mental health patients will remain.

‘But I also understand the building itself is expensive to maintain because of the size of it.’

Solent NHS Trust was also present to explain how services left from the main hospital site would be transferred to St Mary’s.

In a report, the trust stated it was using less than five per cent of the main hospital site, and so is not cost-effective.

NHSPS said that the land was most likely to be sold to a housing developer as it would generate the most money.

Andrew Strange, head of planning and development for NHSPS, said: ‘There are two phases to this development.

‘Phase one is looking at the Light and Gleave villa and the Harbour School site.

‘The only offers we’ve had on that land are for housing.

‘Phase two, which includes the main hospital building site, will be looked at in 2016.

‘We need to get the best price for the estate, and that might be housing.’

NHSPS said results of surveys carried out on traffic flow, wildlife and trees, will be presented in September this year.

It will also seek further comment and feedback.