The vacant “Cottage Hospital” in Market Harborough will now be sold by the NHS, having been officially declared “surplus to requirements”.
The news was confirmed this week in a statement from NHS Property Services.
In the meantime the town’s War Memorial Preservation Group will press ahead with a separate bid to get planning permission for the War Memorial’s potential move to a new site in the Memorial Gardens in the town centre.
The unique, grade two listed War Memorial forms a pilloried portico at the front of the old hospital.
It is thought the site will be worth more to developers without the ‘nuisance’ of a listed building to be protected.
Metal fencing has appeared round the site, with security shutters on doors and windows.
A spokesman for NHS Property Services said: “We are bringing in a range of measures to protect the vacant Market Harborough District Hospital building and the war memorial now that healthcare services have relocated.”
“We know the old hospital site and the listed war memorial are important to local people.
“Our key objective is to secure best value for the site on behalf of the NHS and the taxpayer, with all proceeds returned to the NHS.
“We have engaged heritage specialists to help inform our decision on how to proceed and will continue work with the local planning authority and the war memorial group in order to progress this as swiftly as possible.”
Mark Robinson of the War Memorial Group said: “We’re hoping to put in our own planning application for the War Memorial’s move to the Memorial Gardens. Our intention is to be helpful.
“We hope that can be considered in isolation by the council’s planning committee.”
All clinical services moved out of the “Cottage Hospital” after the opening of the £7.5 million St Luke’s Treatment Centre on Leicester Road.