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MILLIONS OF POUNDS TIED UP IN NHS SITES.

Byline: Patrick Scott Trinity Mirror Data Unit editorial@examiner.co.uk

THE former St Luke's Hospital site in Huddersfield is a huge asset for the NHS.

And the site off Blackmoorfoot Road at Crosland Moor is one of the most valuable in a massive survey of unused and under-used land.

The NHS in West Yorkshire owned at least PS14.9m worth of such land last year.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre have revealed, for the first time, the extent of the surplus land owned by the NHS in England.

This is land that is no longer being used to provide health care and is effectively sitting idle.

As part of a government drive to build 160,000 houses and bring in public sector land sales of PS5 billion by 2020, the NHS is required to look at whether it is possible to sell off its unused land to developers.

The figures reveal that the market value of NHS-owned land in West Yorkshire council areas in 2015-16 was at least PS14.9m.

The actual value of the surplus land owned by hospital trusts in the area may well be higher than this as some plots were not included in the geographical breakdown of the land due to being classified as sensitive.

Some 32 plots of land in West Yorkshire are included in the breakdown, with the most valuable of these being the site of the disused St Luke's Hospital.

The hospital site is worth PS3.9m and comprises 9.4 hectares.

There are plans to develop it for housing and retail units.

The plan to build up to 200 new homes, a supermarket and small neighbourhood centre, shops, a restaurant or pub and petrol station was given the green light in March 2015, more than three years after the hospital was mothballed.

The site is not yet on the market but there are plans to sell it from November this year.

Another site in Huddersfield included in the survey is the Princess Royal Community Health Centre. Parts are still in use but some are empty.

The site includes one and two-storey blocks, large grounds and car parking facilities. It is valued at PS1.25m.

The most valuable site to be sold in the area last year was owned by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The site, details of which are not known, was sold for PS2.8 million in March 2016.

Across England as a whole there were a total of 418 unused plots of land owned by the NHS last year. This land was spread across 545.7 hectares and had an estimated market value of PS344 million.

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CAPTION(S):

| Housing plan approved for site of former St Luke's Hospital, Crosland Moor

| Princess Royal Health Centre, Greenhead Road, Huddersfield

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 18, 2016
Words:475
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