Hospice site likely to be used for housing

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 May 2014

Mooseheart Winscombe.

Mooseheart Winscombe.

Archant

WESTON Hospicecare's Uphill base is likely to become home to up to a dozen houses, according to its chief executive.

Two weeks ago the Mercury reported how the charity had seen an undisclosed offer accepted for a planned move to new headquarters.

It means the hospice will relocate its vital end-of-life care facilities to the Mooseheart building in Winscombe after a deal was struck with current owner Moose International.

It could take up to five years for the hospice to move from its current base in Uphill, but the charity is already in talks with potential developers over the land it plans to vacate.

Speaking at Uphill Village Society’s general meeting, the charity’s chief executive Gill Auden said talks with a developer were in the very early stages to build 10-12 houses on the site.

She said: “My duty as chief executive is to maximise our income and the way we will do that is by selling the site to a developer. It is worth about £1million.

“Over the next three or four years there will be discussion with the council to move the plans forward and to make sure we get the best deal for everyone.

“The only other people who have tentatively talked about it were a drugs rehabilitation programme but the building is not really fit for purpose.

“It couldn’t be reverted to a care home and there are not enough bedrooms to be viable.

“The only feasible option will be housing.”

Gill said the hospice expects to operate out of the current base in Uphill’s Grange Road for another four years.

She said: “We have really enjoyed being here but we have outgrown the site.

“It is absolutely at capacity. More people need our services but we are not in a position to expand and offer them.”

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