The sale of a multi-million pound Birmingham hospital site is not due to go ahead for at least four years when it will be sold to make way for new housing, NHS bosses have revealed.
Residents, councillors and developers are anxious to know the future of Selly Oak Hospital, in Raddlebarn Road, which will no longer be used after its health services are transferred to Birmingham’s new super-hospital off Metchley Park Road, in Edgbaston.
The new Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Hospital opens its doors from next summer when Selly Oak’s A&E will be the first department to move into the new building.
Morag Jackson, the new hospital’s project director at University Hospital Birmingham Trust (UHB), has now revealed that it will not be sold until the building is no longer being used by the trust in 2013 at the earliest.
Bosses also hope to gain the best market price that they can pump back into NHS services when the UK may be recovering from the financial downturn.
Ms Jackson said: “Selly Oak Hospital has been an important part of local life for more than a century.
“For this reason, it has always been the intention of the trust to work with potential developers to ensure that, as well as securing a maximum financial return for the trust, the local area benefits from a thoughtful and well-designed replacement development.
“The trust intends to sell the site to a chosen developer once it is no longer needed for clinical or non-clinical activities. UHB will continue to use the Selly Oak site until at least 2013-2014. It will then be sold for residential development, which fits Birmingham City Council’s requirement for housing in the area.”
Ms Jackson said that work to identify and develop a marketing and disposal strategy began in early 2007 at the Trust.
She added that services will begin to move from Selly Oak to the new hospital in June next year under the first phase.
The Unitary Development Plan, which is a land use plan for Birmingham, states that the Selly Oak Hospital site is appropriate for housing but not student accommodation, if it is no longer used for health services, according to Selly Oak Local Committee.
A local plan had requested that any future developments make a “positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area” and that housing should be of high quality and provide a mix of dwelling sizes and types and plenty of access roads.
In June last year, Selly Oak Constituency Committee urged a rethink of Birmingham City Council’s development plan saying the land could be better used for hi-tech industrial and leisure developments to create jobs and boost employment in the area.
Trust bosses are already preparing for the move and have set up a website to try and protect the history of Selly Oak Hospital by asking former staff, patients and residents to offer their memories and photographs.
Anyone who wants to contribute memories can call 0121 627 2023 or email: Histories@uhb.nhs.uk.
The website can be found at: www.uhb.nhs.uk/Histories/index.html