A DISUSED hospital building which suffered persistent problems with vagrants living there is to be demolished.

Elizabeth House, an old residency building at the rear of the Hinchingbrooke Hospital site in Huntingdon has remained empty since 2007 after it was deemed unfit for habitation because of the poor condition of the building fabric.

It was previously used for nurses and junior doctors but in recent years homeless people have taken to sleeping inside the building, which was described as structurally unsound.

"To prevent this problem, the building has been secured and sealed up," a spokesman for Circle, the private contractor which runs Hinchingbrooke, said. "The trust plans to demolish Elizabeth House, pending approval, as it is not fit for purpose and the cost of refurbishment would be uneconomic. Future plans will be drawn up for brand new residencies and medical student accommodation to be built in 2014/15."

Circle property director Mark Cammies said the plan "forms part of the ongoing estates review and rationalisation of the property at Hinchingbrooke in order to improve the facilities for patients, visitors and staff".

He added: "We will be looking to improve, remove or replace the current buildings to ensure that hospital standards are maintained or increased for many years to come and in the most cost efficient means possible." The planning application for the demolition has been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council.