Council to spend £16 million buying Liberton Hospital for new homes development
At the next meeting of the council’s finance committee, scheduled for Thursday March 4, councillors are being urged to back plans to buy the hospital from NHS Lothian for around £16m - minus demolition costs of £560,000.
The hospital is located on the eastern side of Lasswade Road, to the north of its junction with Ellen’s Glen Road, approximately four miles south of the city centre.
A report, sent to councillors ahead of the meeting, reads: “Council owned land supply is becoming increasingly limited so there is a need to work with public sector partners to bring forward land to deliver cross-sector wider public outcomes.
“There is an opportunity for the council to acquire the Liberton Hospital site as a council-led housing development to deliver new models of housing and care.
“The site consists of three parcels of land owned by NHS Lothian, Scottish Blood Transfusion Service and Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, extending in total to 6.71 hectares (16.59 acres) and is programmed to be surplus to the respective agencies’ requirements.”
The £16m value of the site, determined by the District Valuer, is based on an assumed capacity of 400 housing units - however, this valuation does not include the costs of demolition (estimated at £560,000) and the costs of decontaminating the hospital site.
The report continues: “The cost of treating abnormal ground conditions will also be deducted.
“An intrusive site investigation has been commissioned by the council, with early findings indicating some site contamination commensurate with the age of existing buildings and former uses.”
The purchase will not be without risks to the council, however, as the sale is not dependent on the council obtaining planning permission.
Currently, Liberton Hospital specialises in medicine for elderly patients.
The hospital has around 170 beds in eight acute wards.
It also has a day hospital, which is open from Monday to Friday, and which provides a range of outpatient services, including stroke and rehabilitation treatments.
As there are hospital beds on the site which have yet to be decommissioned the local authorities may need to phase the purchase of the site.