Kent

Canterbury's art deco hospital homes plan considered

Kent and Canterbury Hospital Image copyright East Kent Hospitals University Trust
Image caption The Kent and Canterbury Hospital was built in 1937

Canterbury's art deco hospital could be turned into flats, with a new facility being constructed in the south of the city, long-term plans have revealed.

The NHS trust wants the Ethelbert Road site to be considered for residential use as part of the city's Local Plan.

It said if the hospital did move from its current location it would be replaced by "like-for-like" facilities.

The Kent and Canterbury Hospital, which has 237 beds, was opened by the Duke of Kent in 1937.

The potential relocation, which was revealed by the Kent Gazette, was "potentially good news" but not likely to take place for 10 or 20 years, according to Conservative Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier.

'Crumbling buildings'

In a statement, East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust said it was "committed to retaining a hospital in Canterbury".

"The existing Kent and Canterbury site has a number of limiting factors such as potential room for growth and better and more direct access to road networks," it continued.

"The buildings on site are up to 75 years old and require significant investment and ongoing maintenance.

"The trust therefore remains interested and engaged in the opportunities that could emerge through the Canterbury Local Plan process and contributing to the wider possible benefits that could emerge."

Image copyright Kent and Canterbury Hospital
Image caption Kent and Canterbury Hospital currently has 237 beds

Mr Brazier said: "On the one hand we've got a very successful hospital but one that is in old and crumbling buildings so the prospect of a new hospital would obviously be attractive."

He added: "The one great weakness of the current hospital is that the road access is not very good. The new site they're looking at, of course, is almost on the A2 and so would be ideal from an access point of view."

The original part of the main hospital building was built in 1937, with later developments added in the 1960s.

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