A PHARMACY could be built on the site of the former Mansfield General Hospital should planning permission be given by the town’s planning officers.
Owner Mumtaz Adam has submitted a planning application to build a chemist on the ground floor of the derelict building, which has stood empty since it closed in 1992.
The hospital occupies four acres of the West Hill Drive area of town and has been a magnet for anti-social behaviour in the past and today remains in deterioration with boarded up windows, fencing and strewn with knee-high weeds.
Campaigners, who say the West Hill Drive site’s crumbling condition has led to a drop in the value of their properties, have fought a long-running battle with Mansfield District Council and Mr Adam - who bought the side in the mid 90s.
Roy Bainton, chairman of West Hill Residents’ Association, said he is sceptical about the owner’s intentions.
“The area does not need another pharmacy, there are already three nearby. Who would come to a pharmacy on a derelict site?” he said.
“The whole thing is a smokescreen as far as the residents are concerned, it is a stalling tactic by the owner to prevent Mansfield District Council from making a compulsory purchase order.
“The process of purchasing the site could take around five years.”
In 2005, Mr Adam was given permission to transform the hospital buildings into 133 apartments and announced in November 2008 that he was starting work on the development - but since then there has been little activity.
In a statement issued within the planning application, Mr Adam wrote that the pharmacy would enhance the provision of pharmaceutical services in the district.
“It is expected to create nine new jobs for the town, this pharmacy will provide all NHS advance services without the necessity of seeing a doctor, free emergency contraception and free consultation,” he wrote.
“This pharmacy will be sustainable in nature and achieve a high quality of design and planning for sustainable economic growth.
“I respectfully request that planning permission is granted because the planning application represents a sound proposal for the site and will add vital NHS services to the community, and will allow development of the site to progress at lightning speed.”