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Sale of former St John’s Wood NHS building to tax haven developer blasted

PUBLISHED: 10:51 11 January 2018

A thinktanbk report has slammed the sale of NHS property to private developers including a former community mental health centre in Blenheim Terrace, St John's Wood. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

A thinktanbk report has slammed the sale of NHS property to private developers including a former community mental health centre in Blenheim Terrace, St John's Wood. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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The sale to off-shore developers of a former NHS site in St John’s Wood has been blasted in a thinktank report.

Westminster North MP Karen Buck said: We simply cannot let site after site be sold or redeveloped without adequate provision for genuinely affordable homes.Westminster North MP Karen Buck said: We simply cannot let site after site be sold or redeveloped without adequate provision for genuinely affordable homes.

Abbey Road Community Mental Health Team’s base at 15-19 Blenheim Terrace was sold for £6,850,000 to Blenheim Property Holdings Ltd registered in Guernsey in March last year.

According to thinktank the New Economics Foundation (NEF) none of the three five-bedroomed homes at the redeveloped Blenheim Terrace site are classed as affordable or social with the properties expected to fetch £3.75m each, 121 times a nurse’s salary.

The NEF report has slammed the Abbey Road sale along with another 58 sell offs of NHS land saying four out of five homes on redeveloped sites will be unaffordable with an average sale price of £315,279 or ten times a nurse’s salary.

NEF housing lead Joe Beswick said: “These NHS sites are community assets. They should be used to deliver community benefits. Public land, owned by all of us, is being flogged off so developers can make massive profits, while producing a tiny amount of affordable housing. Every day, people are finding it harder to find a decent place to live. Surplus public land could be used to solve this problem. Instead developers earn record profits and pay CEOs £100m bonuses on the back of luxury properties built on NHS land.”

A spokesman for Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust said: “The site was sold having been empty for three years as it wasn’t fit for purpose for modern day healthcare. The team moved to Woodfield Road. All the profits from the sale were ploughed back into healthcare.

“Affordable housing is on our radar but in this case the site was suitable only for town houses.”

Blenheim Property Holdings Ltd was unavailable for comment.

Westminster North Labour Party MP Karen Buck said: “In order to thrive, a city needs to be able to house the people who make it work- including those who provide its essential services, from education to policing to health care. This report confirms what we already know: most new homes are priced out of reach of NHS workers, fuelling recruitment problems.

“We simply cannot let site after site be sold or redeveloped without adequate provision for genuinely affordable homes.”

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