Councillor calls for clarity as chapter closes for Papworth Hospital
- Credit: Archant
A district councillor has called for more clarity over the future of the Royal Papworth Hospital site as mystery surrounds what the buildings will be used for when doctors and patients depart.
Royal Papworth Hospital first announced that its intention to move to Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge, in 2010, and the move is expected to finally be completed by next week, with staff starting to transfer from today (Wednesday).
However, plans are yet to be released about the future of the site, in Papworth Everard, with speculation that it could be used for housing.
District councillor for Papworth Everard, Mark Howell said it was still “unknown” what the hospital would do with the empty site, and that the continued uncertainty was a “kick in the teeth” for residents in the area.
Cllr Howell said: “No-one, including councillors, really knows what will happen to the empty site. We have no idea if it will be used as housing, or as a hospital site, we really don’t know.
“It has been a bit of a kick in the teeth for us really, as we have supported and worked alongside [the hospital] all of the way and now they are being really secretive about what will happen next.
“The only information that I have been given is that the hospital has sold the site, but I don’t have any idea who to. It’s a great shame.”
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At a meeting of Papworth Parish Council on February 13, Roy Clerk, the chief financial officer at the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Trust, told councillors the initial plan to sell the site to Homes England had been put on hold following interest from two other parties.
It was not revealed who the other parties were as Mr Clark said he was bound by a non-disclosure agreement. It was also revealed that a deadline of two months had been given to exchange contracts with the preferred bidder.
The new Royal Papworth Hospital was approved by the Government in 2014 following an initial green light from the Department of Health in October 2013. Construction work for the new hospital began in 2015. A spokesman for the hospital confirmed more details about the future of the site would be revealed in the coming weeks.
The Hunts Post also understands that t two nurses homes in Church Lane, Papworth Everard, would also be sold, alongside the main hospital site.
A spokesman for the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We appreciate there is a lot of interest in what will become of our old site and how important this is for people living in Papworth Everard. We are pleased to say we are in the final stages of concluding an agreement with a buyer and we will share further details on this the forthcoming weeks.”