Published: December 1, 2011
Anger at 'knock-down sale' of former Burnham-On-Sea health centre

A district councillor has this week expressed his anger at the NHS's sale of a former health centre in Burnham-On-Sea for a 'knock-down price'.

Belmont House, which operated as a mental health care centre in Technical Street until August this year, has been sold by NHS Somerset for just £170,000 to a local businessman.

The three-storey property is located in the centre of Burnham and covers 380 square metres (4,090 sq ft) with six car parking spaces. Auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt had valued the building at £55,000 more than it was sold for.

District councillor Joe Leach told this week: "It is very short-sighted of the NHS Somerset Partnership to sell off properties at knock-down prices like this. Once sold, they are lost to the tax payer forever."

"I feel we have been sold short here - it's insulting to tax payers and particularly to those who relied on Belmont House for health care."

The health care facilities controversially closed in the summer despite a long-running campaign by patients, their families and councillors to save it. first reported here that Belmont House had been earmarked for closure, which was later confirmed by the NHS, as reported here.

NHS Somerset's Paul Courtney told "Selling formerly-used centres is an important way to return money to public service coffers. Our objective is always to raise as much as possible."


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