Emsworth United campaign launched to save unused Victoria Cottage Hospital listed for sale by the NHS
A HOSPITALÂ site embroiled in a long-fought planning battle has been put up for sale '“Â and residentsÂ who say they were not consultedÂ have rallied to save it.Â
Fareham-based agents Hellier Langston announced on Twitter the former Victoria Cottage Hospital in North Street,Â Â Emsworth, has been listed for sale by NHS Property Services (NHSPS).Â
The moveÂ rules the building out as the potential site for the proposed new Emsworth GP surgery, after it was declared '˜surplus to need' by theÂ South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.Â
Dwynwen Stepien is theÂ chairwoman of theÂ Emsworth Community Land Trust (ECLT), which was founded by residents and businessesÂ in AprilÂ to build community facilities and affordable housing in the village '“Â beginning by repurposing the unused hospital site.Â
After its listing wasÂ announced on social media without consultation,Â she launched theÂ ECLT'sÂ so-called Emsworth United campaign, calling on residents and NHSPS to work together to find a future for the building which will benefit the community.
Talks will begin with a publicÂ meeting at Emsworth Baptist Church, in North Street, at 6.30pm on August 22.Â
'˜We are very disappointed that we had not had any notification of the sale from the NHSPS,' Dwynwen said.Â
'˜But we welcome their cooperation to look at the best way forward for this site.
'˜We want to get over the disappointment of doctors not moving there and this now has to be seen as a great opportunity for Emsworth.'
Despite the site decommissioned in 2012 being an '˜asset of community value',Â Havant MP Alan Mak also only learned of the hospital listing via Twitter '“Â and has writtenÂ to NHSPS CEO Elaine Hewitt calling for the sale to be halted to allow the ECLT to '˜organise' itself asÂ a '˜bidder'.Â Â
He said: '˜This freeze will give community groups time to engage with the process.'Â
Responding to community concerns, an NHSPS spokesperson said: '˜We have been working with Havant Borough Council on potential options and are always willing to continue engaging with our local partners.'Â Â Â Â