York launches £100m masterplan for Bootham Park – even as the NHS tries to flog it off

18 Jul 2019 @ 11.48 am
| Environment, Health, Politics

The NHS tried and failed to sell the Bootham Park site, it has emerged.

But after the sale fell NHS Property Services put it straight back on the market, to the dismay of City of York Council.

Now the council and York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust have published a Bootham Park Masterplan – a scheme for the huge hospital and its grounds that would best serve the city.

This envisages the site comprising

  • care accommodation, including a care home and 60 care apartments
  • a Medical Training and Research Centre of Excellence with associated key worker accommodation
  • a children’s nursery
  • a play, fitness and wellbeing trail
  • sports pitches
  • sensory gardens
  • new residential apartment blocks and
  • a café/pavilion.

Under the proposals, apartments would be built on the Union Terrace car park. The coach park would be retained and a multi-storey car park built over it.

The masterplan has been developed after a public consultation and provides “a viable option for the development of the site”, the council says.

It states that the highest value development mix “produces a gross development value of circa £99.6million”.

Committed to keeping it

Up for sale… Bootham Park Hospital. Photograph: YorkMix
“Bootham Park remains one of the most important buildings in the city,” said executive member for finance and performance Councillor Nigel Ayre.

“It has been central to the city’s health and wellbeing for over 250 years and we are committed to retain this important part of our heritage for the city and deliver the social value residents’ have called for.”

He added:

  • Through one public estate we have continued to look at the best possible uses of the site and today publish our proposed masterplan.

    We believe there are a number of available levers that will allow us to influence a positive future for the site and are disappointed that NHS Property Services have decided to immediately remarket the site.

    We call on them to work with us to deliver a masterplan that preserves this historic site and delivers value for the people of York, both now and in the future.

New consultation

The site as seen from above. Photograph: Bootham Park masterplan
Bootham Park Hospital was closed in September 2015 with just five days’ notice.

That was after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection found it unfit for purpose and that patients were at “significant risk of harm”.

The site has been totally vacant since October 2017 when clinical services were relocated elsewhere.

The Grade I listed former psychiatric hospital and its grounds were put up for sale by owners the NHS in January 2018.

According to the council, “NHS Property Services have recently engaged in a failed commercial sale and continue to re-market the site”.

Under the rules, the NHS has an obligation to make sure that assets like former hospital sites are either re-used or, when there is no longer an NHS funded healthcare use for the site, sold to make sure that released running costs are spent locally on services.

A Bootham Park Hospital Site Masterplan Consultation will launch in September 2019.