Generating £4.5M+ for the NHS and enabling the development of a new care home by selling a surplus NHS site

Bushey Health Centre, Hertfordshire

Background

Site: Former health centre (NHSPS owned) spanning 0.52ha, with an adjacent section of land previously used as a cark park. 

Customers/stakeholders: Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

NHSPS representatives: Rosalind Grennell – Senior Transaction Manager, Donna Brydon – Senior Property Manager, and Sharon Hance – Facilities Co-ordinator.

Challenge

This former health centre was vacated in July 2017 following the relocation of primary care services to a new medical centre.

Upon the site being declared surplus to healthcare needs by the local CCG, the NHS Property Services (NHSPS) Transactions team found a buyer for the site and contracts were exchanged in July 2018. The purchase was subject to planning permission being granted for a care home (minimum 65 beds) and four houses.

There were some challenges with the planning application, caused by the proposal to amalgamate the proposed care home use on the main site and the proposed 4 houses on the rear car park. Combined, these uses complicated matters because of the different uses and planning conditions if only one consent was granted, and the sites were developed independently at different times.

Solution

Working with the purchaser, we agreed to split the planning application between the care home and the 4 houses. This enabled the care home planning to be progressed independently to the housing scheme and secured much earlier without any planning linkage between the two sites. 

The land on which the care home was planned held the greatest value, therefore there were substantial advantages to securing planning as a priority on this section of the site. NHSPS priority on all disposal projects is to deliver best value to the NHS, and so we wanted to unlock value from the site and put it back to good use as soon as possible.

Impact

This approach helped the buyer obtained planning permission for a 72-bed care home, enabling sale of the care home part of the site to be completed at a final sale price of £4,530,763 (including overage).

This can now be reinvested in the NHS, transforming a surplus site into new value for the system. The new care home will provide much needed support and accommodation to the elderly population in the area, at a time where adult social care provision is ever more stretched.  

Planning on houses is still in progress, and we hope to soon have an update.

Partner feedback

"We were pleased to work so closely and successfully with NHS Property Services as well as their retained agent LSH, who were always able to offer pragmatic and commercial solutions to the varied issues that arose with this complicated planning application. The purchase was even more compounded by the turbulent property market created by COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to be on site now constructing our new 72 bed Care Home which will deliver much needed state of the art accommodation for those in need of dependent care."

Nigel Berney, NLProperty

Want to know more?

Learn more about our Property Disposals team and how they can support you.