Campaigners have met their local MP over plans to build houses on land at the site of Hartlepool’s hospital.
A consultation was opened last month on proposals for a 106-home health village on land at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road.
Campaign group Fighting for Hartlepool Hospital (F4HH) say they have met with town MP Mike Hill to discuss the proposal.
Group members have attended the consultation run by Thirteen housing group in the foyer of the hospital, where plans were displayed for public viewing.
Kathleen Mathieson, F4HH campaigner said: “The group left the consultation with more questions than answers, it was just a mere housing development with a ‘health village’ title. That’s why we wanted to arrange an emergency meeting with the MP to discuss it.”
The meeting was attended by four administrators from the group including Angela Hughes, who said: “F4HH provided the MP with the reasons the group was set up and our major concerns including the land sale, cutting of services to Hartlepool hospital.”
Ms Mathieson, went on to say: “We discussed in great detail the term ‘health village’ and how we need to clearly define the term in future attempts. We believe that our hospital services should be reinstated and that the land should not be sold to build houses even if they are built under the heading ‘health village’. The land at Hartlepool hospital was given the town folk, which subsequently has found it’s way in to the hands of the trust – not good enough.”
Mike Hill MP said he is “keen to look into this convent that states it belongs to the town and strictly enforce that it can only be used for Health reasons”.
Ms Hughes added: “Labelling ‘health village’ is a way for them to get round this statement, but clearly from the proposals it was a very watered down plan to include health.”
Mr Hill previously called the proposal ill-conceived, unwanted and contrary to the original intended use for the land.
The plan includes assisted-living apartments and new homes and bungalows available to buy through shared ownership schemes or to rent.
Thirteen says the independent living part of the proposal would complement existing hospital services and help to meet the needs of residents who will benefit from specialist features.
It believes the new homes and bungalows will appeal to hospital workers.
Peter Mitchell, the trust’s director of estates, said previously: “In this instance, a housing association has submitted an outline planning application for a development to significantly improve the social housing provision for Hartlepool and this is an excellent development opportunity with huge benefits for the local residents.”