All Internal Pictures of Royal Victoria Hospital by Duncandisorderly
Do you believe in coincidence?
“It’s hard to believe in coincidence, but it’s even harder to believe in anything else.” ― John Green, Will Grayson,
You have to speculate to accumulate so the saying goes, and we note that a Company has been set up called RVH Folkestone Ltd, on the 7th June 2016. Is it to speculate on a tender possibly for the redevelopment Royal Victoria Hospital site, or is it just coincidence?
The Royal-Victoria-Hospital- (RVH) Site Folkestone (pictured above), is currently owned by Kent County Council (KCC) and is up for sale on Savills website. KCC purchased the site as part of a seven site deal and they paid 473,500 for the RVH, site according to the Land Registry. In contrast to this NHS Digital (table 4) state the land sold for £400,000.
“A number of offers” have been made for the 2.31 acre site via Savills and KCC is set to proceed with a buyer. “KCC and its agents are now undertaking appropriate due diligence on these prior to proceeding with a purchaser.”
Something of note is that the NHS Digital Heritage Statement box, it says the RVH has no Heritage. Yet in stark contrast, SDC Draft Places & Policies Local Plan at page 50 it states:
• the former hospital building is considered to be a heritage asset and as such this status should be given some weight.
For those of you who do not know, the RVH is where our own inimitable sonorous orator, Cllr Rory Love (pictured) was born. A Cllr who has claimed expenses for the three mile round trip to the Shepway District Council Chamber. He has legs and arms and all his faculties and did so on the day he was born at the RVH.
In Sept 1944 the RVH was was hit by a German shell. Two members of staff and a passing member of the home guard were killed.
So no heritage hmmmmm.
In 1973 the maternity unit was transferred to Willesborough Hospital and following the opening of the William Harvey Hospital at Ashford in 1979, the Royal Victoria was transformed into a centre for geriatric, stroke rehabilitation, eye surgery and general practitioner patients.
In 2005 it was decided that 2 wards were to close at the hospital,and in 2006 it was announced that the old Victorian building at Royal Victoria was to be put up for sale by it’s owners, the East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust. Within a week an action group was setup, Save OUR Royal Victoria.
In 2008 the East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust committed to retaining all services at the current hospital site with a £3.6 million investment in upgrading and modernising the remaining buildings. There was also a deal struck to retain the main building facade of the original Victorian building when the land is developed. Yet in 2009/10 the Royal Victoria Hospital closed.
Coming back to RVH Developments Ltd, there are two directors in the company. However, the person with significant control is Livingston Homes Ltd and the person with significant control of that company is Leo Livingston Griggs.
Now Leo has had dealings with Kent County Council the owners of the site before. This related to a near £50,000 loan in Dec 2014, for 158E Hythe High Street; which was satisfied on the 18th Feb 2016. Anyway the RVH site where according to SDC’s draft Places and Policies Local Plan (open for comments), 42 homes, 16 Flats and 26 Houses are earmarked to be built.
There are 9 conditions set out in the draft Places & Policies Local Plan. If meet or negotiated to agreement, then Development proposals will be supported. The conditions are masterplan, preservation of the facarde of the RVH, Traffic flow assess and mitigate any potential contamination, archaeological potential, mitigation and enhancement in a local Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitat.
So is Leo one of the developers who has submitted a bid for the site? Only time will tell. However, as John Green and Will Grayson, “It’s hard to believe in coincidence, but it’s even harder to believe in anything else.”
We leave you to draw your own conclusions.
The Shepwayvox Team.
We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies or other entities included in this blogpost have acted improperly.