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Drugs, needles and excrement need to be removed from former Norfolk hospital, developers say

PUBLISHED: 06:50 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 06:50 15 November 2019

Thetford Cottage Hospital could be turned into housing. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Thetford Cottage Hospital could be turned into housing. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Developers will have to remove drug paraphernalia, needles and human excrement, if plans to redevelop a former hospital are approved.

Thetford Cottage Hospital could be turned into housing. Picture: Sonya DuncanThetford Cottage Hospital could be turned into housing. Picture: Sonya Duncan

South Norfolk Developments has applied to Breckland Council to knock down Thetford Cottage Hospital, in Earls Street, which has been empty for the last 13 years, and build nine homes.

The Victorian building has been vandalised over the years with graffiti sprayed on the walls and squatters taking shelter inside.

Dennis Bacon, CEO of South Norfolk Developments, said: "I used to drive past the site for several years and it was quite the eyesore.

"When I got the chance to acquire it I spoke to the conservation officers for Breckland and we discussed what would be suitable as the previous application was for 32 flats which was clearly ridiculous.

Thetford Cottage Hospital could be turned into housing. Picture: Sonya DuncanThetford Cottage Hospital could be turned into housing. Picture: Sonya Duncan

"Looking at the street scene there is Victorian properties both sides which are attractive and it is right in the town centre so it is important that we get it right."

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South Norfolk Developments have completed a number of works in the town including the Ford Place Nursing Home and have purchased Oddfellows Hall.

Mr Bacon added: ""Earls Street is really nice street that is blighted by this dilapidated hospital where there has been a lot of drug use, needles and excrement, it's absolutely disgraceful.

"I think it will lift a part of the town centre which needs investment and regeneration."

Included in the plans are 14 car parking spaces for the adjacent Groves Lane doctors surgery which Mr Bacon said will allow it to expand to meet demands.

The building is of very little use or value because of the way it has been configured," he added.

"It's historical importance is limited, you can't build nine houses on-top of a hospital.

"We have allowed a part of land at the back of the houses to be retained while we agree with the Grove Lane Doctors Surgery because they need to extend due to the expansion in the community.

"We would allow them to have a section of the land for additional parking which will allow them to build over the car park they already have."

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