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Mystery buyer behind winning bid which scooped Lowestoft Hospital for £475,000

PUBLISHED: 11:54 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:02 26 October 2018

Lowestoft Hospital. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Lowestoft Hospital. Photo: Nick Butcher.

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A mystery buyer was behind the winning bid for Lowestoft Hospital on Thursday, despite a public campaign to stop the auction going ahead.

Protesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building.
Picture: Nick ButcherProtesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building. Picture: Nick Butcher

A mystery buyer was behind the winning bid for Lowestoft Hospital on Thursday, despite a public campaign to stop the auction going ahead.

The site on Tennyson Road, Lowestoft, went under the hammer on October 25, selling for £475,000.

Dating back to 1822, the town’s hospital closed in 2016 but was still owned by James Paget University Hospital (JPUH).

While it was open it provided community care for the elderly and housed a minor injuries unit.

Protesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building.
Picture: Nick ButcherProtesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building. Picture: Nick Butcher

On Wednesday, Lowestoft Town Council made a last-ditch attempt for it not to be auctioned off.

In a letter addressed to chief executive Christine Allen and the chair Anna Davidson, the hospital is accused of not consulting or considering the public.

An excerpt of the letter read: “Local people cannot afford, economically and in health terms, to continue to be subject to increasingly remote and inaccessible health services.”

Earlier this month, campaign group Lowestoft Coalition against the Cuts urged the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to reconsider the sale of the hospital.

Protesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building.
Picture: Nick ButcherProtesters camapign outside the former Lowestoft Hospital to try and stop the sale of the building. Picture: Nick Butcher

Alongside Jane Murray, the Labour councillor for the Oulton ward on Waveney District Council, the group pushed for the site to be restored for medical purposes. On the sale of the hospital, Councillor Murray said: ”I am really disappointed, it was such a significant site for people it was easily accessible.

“Local people feel like Lowestoft is being side lined. We have had the Magistrates’ Court closed, the Lowestoft record office is likely to be moved to Ipswich, the post office was closed down.

“It feels like the heart is being ripped out of Lowestoft and moved elsewhere.”

At a public meeting organised by campaigners, businessman Peter Colby announced his intention to buy the hospital and transform it into a medical centre and houses.

Lowestoft HospitalLowestoft Hospital

After the auction, Mr Colby, of Peter Colby Commercials, said he “fought to buy the property” but the legal requirements came in between the purchase.

He said: “Lowestoft is the second largest town in the whole of Suffolk and we don’t have a medical facility.”

When the site was listed, James Paget University Hospital Director of Finance Mark Flynn said: “The site is not suitable for the provision of modern health care and is deteriorating. Any delay in the disposal would result in further deterioration of the site and additional cost in keeping the site secure.”

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