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UPDATE: Budock Hospital site off market after parliamentary debate
7:20am Sunday 16th June 2013 in News
UPDATE: Following a parliamentary debate the Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, has intervened in the sale of the former Budock Hospital site and taken it off the open market.
Negotiations are ongoing with the site's owners, NHS Property Services (NHSPS), who have tabled the suggestion of a "land-swap."
This would see Falmouth School's land at Union Corner, valued at £2 million, given to NHSPS in exchange for the Budock Hospital site, which is valued at £750,000.
The school were planning on using the sale of the land at Union Corner to fund their sports plans.
Local MP Sarah Newton will chair a meeting between the two parties next week (Friday, June 21) in an attempt to resolve the stalemate.
A bid to stop the former Budock Hospital site being sold off to the highest bidder has been taken to the corridors of power.
The property services arm of the NHS has put the site on the open market despite Falmouth School having approached them with their plans for an all-weather sports facility.
The sports pitch with changing rooms would be used by the school and also available to the wider community. The school plans to sell off its sports fields opposite the hospital site at Union Corner to fund the project.
Fears that the scheme could be stymied if the hospital site is sold to the highest bidder has seen Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, lead a debate on the sale of the land in the Houses of Parliament.
Mrs Newton is calling for a pause in the sale and for NHS Property Services to look again at the plans put forward by Falmouth School.
Mrs Newton secured a debate in the House of Commons yesterday so these concerns could be addressed directly to the Health Minister.
She will also chair a meeting between Falmouth School and NHS Property Services which is due to take place soon.
Mrs Newton said: “While I was disappointed that the land was simply going to be sold to the highest bidder rather than put to the best use for the community, I am pleased that NHS Property Services have decided to pause and give more time listen to the school’s proposals.
“The redevelopment of this site into a top quality sporting facility will not only benefit students at the school, but will provide an excellent asset to the community as a whole. I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity to make this case to Parliament and to get the relevant parties to look again at these plans.”
Sandra Critchley, headteacher of Falmouth School said: “I would like to thank Sarah Newton for her help and intervention, at the highest levels, in support of the sports development proposals for the school and the town of Falmouth.
“I am really delighted that we now have the opportunity to discuss the options fully with the relevant bodies to secure a way forward and feel sure that with Sarah’s continued support we will be able to achieve an amicable solution which will enable the dream to become a reality.”
The school’s land is being marketed by Alder King and Mrs Critchley is hopeful it will prove a more attractive proposal for developers. “We believe that developers would find our site more preferable than the Budock site for development,” she said.
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