Former hospital is site ‘not yet costed’

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The costs of building a retirement complex on Mansfield General Hospital site are yet to be calculated it was confirmed after concerns were raised during a recent council meeting.

The move to build on the old site has been welcomed by every member of Mansfield District Council after the site was left for years in a dilapidated state.

More than £8.6 million is to be ploughed into building 544 bungalows on the site, designed for the elderly.

But questions were raised over the figures by a number of councillors.

Coun John Kerr said: “I welcome this, it’s been a log time coming, but it’s £8.6m for 54 bungalows, that’s a cost of £160,000 per build.

“I think this is rather expensive to build.”

This was followed up Coun Joyce Bosnjak, who said: “I do not know if that’s the going rate, it just seems a bit excessive.”

But Coun David Saunders answered by saying: “The procurement process has not happened yet, it purely a figure that has been put forward as an estimated from the HRA (Housing Revenue Account).

“Once the planning is approved a full procurement will happen.”

The council eventually snapped up the old Mansfield General Hospital with a compulsory purchase order in 2013 after it had stood derelict for 20 years.

Residents on West Hill Drive, along with councillors, campaigned to have the building pulled down saying it was an eyesore.

Speaking at the recent full council meeting, Mansfield mayor, Kate Allsop said: “It’s been a blight on our horizon for such a long time.

“We are all delighted the hospital was demolished, it makes such a difference.

“The scheme we have before us now will offer people the opportunity in bigger houses to downsize and avoid bedroom taxes and will be a lovely community

“We have got to get planning and then it will go out to procurement and I’m confident we will get it within that budget.”

The plans are just one of a number of housing proposals in Mansfield to cater for the ageing population.

The former Brownlow Road site , now known as Poppy Fields, is nearing completion, which will see 74 units designed for pensioners.