Kent and Sussex Hospital site sold to Berkeley Homes

Old Kent & Sussex Hospital
Image caption The old Kent & Sussex Hospital had served the area since the 1930s

The site of the old Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells has been sold to a housing developer.

Berkeley Homes announced the purchase and revealed plans for a development including new homes.

Managing director of Berkeley Eastern Counties Chris Gilbert said a wide range of homes were planned for first-time buyers, couples and families.

Neither Berkeley Homes nor Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS, which owned the site, have revealed the sale value.

The Kent and Sussex hospital closed last year and services were moved to the trust's new £230m Tunbridge Wells hospital at Pembury.

Housing shortage

Mr Gilbert said: "It will enable Berkeley to create the first major new build development of this size and scale in Tunbridge Wells for many years.

"The creation of these new homes will also help to address the current housing shortage in the area."

Graham Goddard, new hospital development director at the NHS trust, said proceeds of the sale would be reinvested in the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

He said: "Importantly for the trust, we are confident that Berkeley will develop the site in a way that is sympathetic to the local area.

"Having moved the clinical services to the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital last September we were aware of local concerns that the site would become another 'grot spot'."

Berkeley Homes said public consultations on its proposals for the site would begin this summer, with a view to submitting a planning application by the end of this year.

If successful, construction would begin in 2013.

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