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Derelict Cottage Hospital in Thetford set to be brought back to life

PUBLISHED: 15:05 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:05 23 February 2017

Thetford Mayor Terry Jermy, left, and town councillor Mike Brindle at the  former Cottage Hospital site. Picture: Via Mike Brindle

Thetford Mayor Terry Jermy, left, and town councillor Mike Brindle at the former Cottage Hospital site. Picture: Via Mike Brindle

Archant

A derelict hospital building that dates back to Victorian times looks set to be brought back to life after 1800 people signed a petition to see it reused.

Once a bustling town hub, the Cottage Hospital in Thetford has sat empty for a decade.

After closing in 2006, the hospital was sold by the NHS to a private owner in 2010.

Thetford town councillor Mike Brindle has campaigned for the Earls’ Street site to be reused and presented his case to Breckland Council at a meeting on Thursday, February 23.

And district councillors unanimously agreed with the recommendation to continue dialogue with the owners of the building to bring it back into constructive use.

Mr Brindle said: “This petition is the culmination of the Thetford Society’s campaign to bring back to life an iconic building.

“This is a red-brick, attractive building that forms part of an interesting townscape.

“We would like it be saved as a building and for the street. It was erected in the 1890s.

“Many members remember it fondly as a place for minor operations, recuperation and as a clinic. It could be brought back into use.

“We started the petition last November and collected 1800 signatures. There are parties interested in the site, apart from the developer. The message from the people of Thetford to Breckland Council is ‘Please break the deadlock’”.

Terry Jermy, the leader of the Labour group on the district council and Thetford Mayor, said he remembered the hospital as somewhere he was dragged to for frequent blood tests when he was younger.

He said: “Positive use could be made of it. At present it has a negative impact on the town centre and the conservation area.”

Councillors for Thetford wards, Jane Bishop, Roy Brame, Mark Robinson, Mark Taylor and Jennifer Hollis all endorsed the proposal.

William Nunn, the leader of the council, said he had been in touch with the building’s owners, who were keen to bring it back into use.

He added: “I do welcome petitions as they show the strength of feeling around a topic. We need such catalysts to bring communities together.”

Are you campaigning to save an iconic building in your area? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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