Hospital chiefs are still not sure if the sprawling St Luke’s site will be re-developed, the Examiner has learned.
It is approaching seven years since the former mental health hospital at Crosland Moor was mothballed and more than two years since planning permission for 200 homes and a retail park was granted.
But when asked for an update, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT), said it was still in discussions with a developer and contracts had not yet been exchanged.
CHFT has already taken out a £2m loan to demolish the site and a so-called Section 106 agreement to compensate Kirklees Council £850,000 for community infrastructure improvements was agreed in December 2015.
In February this year it was claimed that discussions with a building firm were “progressing well” and work could start this year.
But in a new report by NHS Digital, St Luke’s is named as still available.
The NHS surplus land programme lists six other CHFT properties, two sold and one is under offer.
Referring to the St Luke’s site off Blackmoorfoot Road, a CHFT spokesperson said: “The site is being marketed for a mixed use development by the Pennine Property Partnership (PPP) – a 50/50 joint venture between the trust and Henry Boot Developments Ltd.
“A number of expressions of interest have been sought and discussions are ongoing with a developer with a view to the St Luke’s site transferring to the PPP in March 2018.
“Planning has also been a factor in the negotiations but the plan is for 200+ houses and a small retail development.”
A £39m estimate has been put on the cost of completing the development of the land, more than twice the amount reported in 2015.
Meanwhile, the NHS Digital report reveals CHFT achieved £1.2m of its £1.5m asking price for the Princess Royal Community Health Centre at Greenhead. It was bought by Locala who provide community health care.
Another for sale is The Poplars at Free School Lane, Savile Park, Halifax, which is under offer at £300,000.
Glen Acre House and six other properties that are partially occupied by staff along Acre House Avenue, Lindley, are all earmarked for sale.
Acre House could be sold for either residential or commercial use. CHFT said it would pursue whichever option provided the best value to be reinvested into healthcare.
Trust premises at 38 Acre Street, Lindley were sold at auction on March 31 for £123,000 to a private buyer.
Assistant Director of Estates and Facilities David McGarrigan said: “When we are disposing of properties which we no longer use, the trust would always try to ensure we get the best possible value from them which can then be reinvested in frontline healthcare.”