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Sadness at homes plan for former hospital
AN historic building given to the people of Chipping Norton nearly a century ago is being sold for housing.
The town’s old hospital building, on London Road, was originally built as a war memorial hospital at the end of the First World War.
But since the new Chipping Norton War Memorial Community Hospital, in Rockhill Road, opened in March last year along with the Henry Cornish care home, it has not been used.
London developers St Charles House is in the process of buying the site from the Oxfordshire PCT and is hoping to build 14 houses, along with 28 car parking spaces.
But Rob Evans, Chipping Norton’s district councillor, said that the sale of the site was a missed opportunity for the town.
He said the ‘important’ site could have been turned into a facility for the community to benefit from, such as a library.
The old ambulance station, care home and Chestnuts House, owned by Oxfordshire County Council next to the old hospital, have been derelict for up to 10 years and are also due to be sold.
“The thing which the town will feel disappointed about is the neighbouring site which belongs to the county council,” said Coun Evans.
“The hope in the town was that the health authority and county council would have got together and put the site up jointly because that would be the way that the town could get some advantage from the development.
“We desperately need a new library. You could combine it with other facilities like an information centre.
“There’s always been a very strong feeling that it’s a building that belongs to the town and the people’s forefathers.
It’s such an important building.”
St Charles Homes is holding a public consultation in the town hall this evening from 6pm to 8pm for residents to look at plans.
No one from St Charles Homes was available for comment at the time of going to press but Rachel Mcquilliam of the Oxfordshire PCT confirmed the site was up for sale.