This section of our website is devoted to keeping people informed about opportunities to engage with planning for the future of the site and about developments as they occur.
Although much of the information – and the centre of a lot of interest and discussion – is about land and buildings, they are NOT the focus of or the reason for this work.
Everything that has happened and will happen is for the benefit of NHS patients and their carers and families in the Portsmouth area.
The aim of the work is to reduce taxpayers’ spending on underused and outdated buildings and use resources more effectively for direct patient care.
A unique “land swap” deal took place in April when the ownership of the greater part of the St James’ Hospital site switched from Solent NHS Trust to NHS Property Services.
At the same moment, the ownership of St Mary’s Community Health Campus switched from NHS Property Services to Solent NHS Trust, and Solent transferred some services from St James’ to St Mary’s.
Portsmouth CCG, which purchases health services for the local community, confirmed that St Mary’s is the principal community care hub site in Portsmouth.
Several buildings at St James’ are no longer suitable for the delivery of modern healthcare services.
Its main block is largely an administrative centre with significant vacant and underused space, and a minimal amount of clinical activity.
Therefore, a programme of rationalisation of the St James’ estate has begun.
To repeat, this is to ensure patients have access to improved local facilities and care elsewhere – and that the financial resources of the NHS are dedicated to meeting patients’ needs, and not to maintaining underused buildings.
The site of the former Light and Gleave Villas – which had been vacant for more than 20 years – was the first part of the site to be marketed last year. The Skillploy building which had occupied that area has been demolished and 13 new homes built (pictured). These are now occupied.
Plans are now coming forward to release further surplus land on the St James’ site in two phases.
Phase One comprises the land in the South East of the site, which includes the former Child Development Centre, which Solent NHS Trust plans to re-locate to Battenburg Avenue Clinic. It also includes three other former “villas” from the old hospital.
The site has been identified as suitable for housing and NHS Property Services intends to sell it to help meet the Government’s commitment to release surplus public sector land for housing.
The company’s plan is to apply to Portsmouth City Council for outline planning permission for residential development, and then market the land in the autumn of 2014, with a view to exchanging contracts early in the New Year.
The second phase of land release is on a much longer timescale. It involves the occupiers of the main block of St James’ and of other ancillary buildings on site to vacate them by the end of 2016, with sale to follow thereafter.
We are committed to listening to and speaking with local people as the future of the St James’ site is debated and decided.
There are a number of documents which outline the thinking behind the plans and progress made so far, which have been discussed in public or distributed publicly over the past few months and you can read them here.
NHS Property Services is continuing to prepare an outline planning application for the development of land and buildings at St James’ Hospital that are becoming surplus to NHS requirements. We have completed a number of surveys, including regarding the ecology of the site.
We are currently reviewing the results and the need for any further surveys and mitigation before we submit a formal application. We are also continuing to work to ensure the prompt disposal of the Phase 1 land in 2015, and on the preparation of a masterplan for the wider site’s development.
The release of the surplus land and buildings at St James’ Hospital will enable much-needed investment in St Mary’s Community Health Campus, will help generate significant savings for the NHS in Portsmouth that can be redirected to patient care, and will provide land for potential housing.
The local NHS has also committed to ongoing face-to-face, written and electronic engagement with residents and local stakeholders throughout this long-term project and to considering all feedback received and making adjustments where necessary.
NHS Property Services hosted a drop-in session for local people on Tuesday, July 1 at St James’ Hospital. Here are the information boards that were presented.
And we presented at the Milton Neighbourhood Forum meeting on Wednesday, 17 September at 7pm in Mary Rose Academy, Gisors Road, PO4 8GT. Here is the presentation
Wednesday 24 September 2014, 3pm to 7pm at The Lowry Centre on the site of St James’ Hospital, PO4 8LD:
If you were unable to attend the drop in session on Wednesday 24 September, but would like to comment on our emerging proposals, particularly for the Phase 1 land, please email your comments to us by the end of Friday 3 October 2014 to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
Andrew Strange, Head of Planning and Development, NHS Property Services Ltd, St James’ Hospital, Locksway Road, Milton, Portsmouth, PO4 8LD
Please note that the Council is also consulting until 30 September 2014 about their own proposals to allocate land at St James’ Hospital for development. Their consultation document and details about how to respond are at:
In due course, you will of course also be able to comment to Portsmouth City Council about any planning applications for the site’s development. The Council will take your comments into account in making decisions about any such applications.
NHS Property Services looks forward to discussing these local NHS plans with local people over the coming months.
We hope you will join us in working to ensure this project delivers improved services for local patients, better use of NHS resources and an increased supply of much-needed new homes in Portsmouth.