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2 May 2018, 15:21 | Updated: 2 May 2018, 15:23
Two NHS sites in Cambridge and Peterborough, belonging to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) have been sold for £20m.
The Ida Darwin site in Fulbourn and the Gloucester Centre in Orton Longueville, have been purchased for new houses by the Government Agency, Homes England.
The money raised from the sale of the two sites will allow the Trust, which provides mental health and community care, to move the services to more appropriate and modern facilities and to re-invest in its existing properties.
Scott Haldane, Director of Finance at CPFT, said:
"Working with Homes England has allowed us to conclude this sale quickly and find better accommodation for our services to ensure we continue to provide the best possible care for our patients.”
Both sites were originally developed in the 1960s, but many of the buildings are now no longer considered ‘fit for purpose’ and are increasingly costly for the Trust to maintain.
The Gloucester Centre hosts a range of mental health community, social care and child health teams and the Trust’s Peterborough Recovery College. The site will continue to be occupied by the Trust for up to 18 months while more appropriate accommodation is found in Peterborough.
The majority of the services based on the Ida Darwin Site have already relocated as part of an earlier planned withdrawal from the site, and the rest of the site will be vacated in two further phases.
Phase two will take place by September 2018 and will include the relocation of the remaining corporate teams based on the site to new premises.
Phase three will take place within the next five years and will include moving the three children’s mental health inpatient units (the Croft, Phoenix and Darwin Centre) and the Trust’s Conference Centre. This five-year timeframe has been agreed through a novel ‘sale and lease back’ feature as part of the Homes England transfer.
CPFT is looking at a number of options for re-providing the children’s wards including relocating them to new facilities on the Fulbourn Hospital site.
Outline planning permission had been granted for 203 new homes on the Ida Darwin site and 123 new homes are anticipated for the Gloucester Centre subject to planning.
Stephen Kinsella, Director of Land at Homes England, said:
"This site is an excellent example of Homes England’s commitment to bringing public land back into use for new homes. We’re really excited by the potential for 326 new homes across these two sites and look forward to seeing the plans progress.”