£1.5m sell-off due for NHS site to pave way for new homes

The Norton Lea site
The Norton Lea site

A derelict NHS site plagued by vandalism and drug-use could be sold for £1.5 million to make way for 60 new homes.

Norton Lea, set back from London Road in Boston, has been derelict for several years and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust (LPFT) now plans to sell the site to developers.

The proposals would see the demolition of existing buildings which were used for people with learning difficulties from 1982. Prior to this it was the old London Road Hospital and a sanatorium from about 1938.

Jacqui Dales, owner of the nearby London Road Bakery, said: “As a resident I am pleased as the area has been an eyesore for a number of years now.

“It’s a brownfield site too, so I think it’s good they are going to use this pocket of land to provide more housing for the area.”

It is proposed that vehicle access will remain via London Road - with on-site parking spaces for 106 cars.

Concerns have been raised by some over traffic.

London Road resident Darron Abbott said: “We need housing but it will mean another 100-or-so cars pulling out onto that already busy junction. It’s going to be a nightmare.”

The application, handled by Globe Consultants on behalf of LPFT, states the Norton Lea buildings and facilities have been ‘surplus to requirements for the trust for a number of years’.

The report states: “Despite the efforts of the NHS trust in securing the site it has become plagued by anti-social behaviour problems lately with reports of drug and alcohol abuse taking place on site.

“The buildings have also been targeted by criminals who have been stripping them of electrical items and metals, as a consequence many of them have now fallen into a considerable state of disrepair.”

The site is bordered by mature trees which are proposed to stay. The site’s centrally-located rare old cork oak tree will also be saved and made into a central feature if plans are approved.

A spokesman for LPFT said: “This planning application has been made prior to disposal of the site in order to maximise the value of the land. All monies raised from a future sale of this land would be re-invested in patient care to benefit the people of Lincolnshire.

“The site was vacated by our learning disability services a few years ago, and since then a number of different options, involving other agencies, have been considered.”