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Three-storey block of flats could be built on former hospital site

PUBLISHED: 08:40 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:57 17 May 2019

Thetford Cottage Hospital. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Thetford Cottage Hospital. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A block of flats could be built on the site of a former Norfolk hospital if plans are approved.

Thetford Cottage Hospital National Physio week taken 15th March 1990. Picture: ArchantThetford Cottage Hospital National Physio week taken 15th March 1990. Picture: Archant

An application to knock down the former Thetford Cottage Hospital on Earls Street and build 30 flats has been submitted to Breckland Council.

The plans, lodged by Tang and Associates Ltd, would see the Victorian building demolished to make way for a three-storey block of two-bedroom flats.

The site has remained empty for the past 13 years but in 2017 a petition signed by 1,800 people was submitted to Breckland Council to bring the building back into use after it was sold to a private owner in 2010 but the building remained derelict.

Also included in the plans is a car park with 30 spaces.

A fire at the former Cottage Hospital in Earls Street, Thetford. Picture: ArchantA fire at the former Cottage Hospital in Earls Street, Thetford. Picture: Archant

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The hospital was one of the first in the region to buy an x-ray machine and treated thousands of patients in its 100-year history.

It closed in 2006 as a new £4.5m health centre opened. At the time James Romana-Powling, project manager for Norfolk PCT, said it was a sad day for the former hospital as the state-of-the-art Thetford Community Healthy Living Centre, off Croxton Road, opened.

The new centre brought together existing cottage hospital services, new outpatient clinics such as podiatry, audiology, and dermatology, as well as community dentists, voluntary services, mental health nurses, and a new GP surgery, which is managed by the School Lane practice.

Thetford Cottage Hospital. Picture: Sonya DuncanThetford Cottage Hospital. Picture: Sonya Duncan

In June 2016 a blaze started at the empty building which prompted neighbours to call for something to be done with the site.

Neighbours complained it had become a danger, with one saying the fire was "an accident waiting to happen".

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said at the time: "We see kids going in and out of there all the time, doing drugs and we have had squatters in there too."

What are your thoughts on the development? Contact Marc.betts@archant.co.uk

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