Council to explore options to acquire General Hospital site
Mansfield District Council is seeking to acquire the General Hospital site off West Hill Drive, subject to legal and financial advice.
A motion stating that the Council was committed to acquiring the General Hospital site, subject to legal and financial advice, was passed unanimously at a Full Council meeting on 4 July.
Councillor Martin Lee, who proposed the motion, said: "For too long, the site has been a blight on the community. I have serious doubts about whether the current owner has any intention to develop the site. I believe acquiring the site is the best way to deal with this blot on the landscape.
"I recognise all of this will take time and that the Council must take into consideration the financial and legal position, but this motion is the first step to resolving this problem."
Executive Mayor Tony Egginton said: "The Council has made many efforts over the years to deal with the problem of the General Hospital site. We will continue to move forward to solve this issue to the satisfaction of everyone."
At the start of this year, the Council set aside £25,000 in the 2012/13 budget for a feasibility study to look at options for the site.
The site comprises a wide variety of buildings, the oldest of which dates back to before 1900. The premises have been unoccupied for several years and consequently the site has deteriorated. Planning permission was granted in December 2005 to change the use of the buildings on the former hospital site to residential apartments but no work to develop the site has taken place apart from some minor drainage works.
In 2010 the site's owner complied with a notice pursuant to Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act issued by the Council to tidy up the site, board up broken windows, cut back overgrown trees and weeds and remove rubbish.