Developer offered land for 2,000 homes in exchange for building new hospital facility for free

Developer Quinn Estates have been offered land for 2,000 homes in exchange for building new hospital facility on land owned by Kent County Council & Canterbury City Council, for free.

East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust (the Trust) is currently deciding  two options to increase healthcare capacity at three hospitals across East Kent.

 1 – Investment in accident and emergency and other services at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and at Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and a diagnostic and surgery centre at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

2 – A new five-storey facility built at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, with the chosen developer also being offered the chance to purchase an adjacent 37-acre site for future development, together with investment in the existing Canterbury site and changes at Ashford and Margate hospitals.

The second option was added to the local NHS’s options in 2017 after developer Quinn Estates offered to build the shell of the new hospital building for free. The deal was offered in exchange for permission to build 2,000 homes on the adjacent land. The adjacent land is in Canterbury’s Local Plan (page 24 and 43), and has been since Nov 2015, so eligible for development.

The proposals for the second option includes the trust commissioning the fit-out of the new 594,000sq ft build extension, although the shell and core works of the building would be free – a donation. – that is expected to cost £170m excluding VAT.

The land assembly by Quinn Estates, is marked in pink below. It is adjacent to the KCC & CCC land, and opposite the Mountfield Park site.

As an aside, in March 2019, in our blog post – The most popular site in Britain- Part 3, we stated:

We know that CCC received an offer on the land from Quinn Estates on the 24/05/18 and Atlas Partners Group Ltd had submitted and expression of interest in the land on the 18/05/2018.

We now know that a further two parties are interested in the land and they will submit offers to KCC and CCC in the next few weeks.

Back on track, in July 2021 an OJEU tender notice was issued to start procurement to invite developers to come forward with proposals to assemble the land and develop a hospital shell. But the land adjacent KCCs & CCCs was already assembled by a developer.

On Monday 28 Feb, 2022, a second OJEU Tender was published . The proposal for the hospital extension at a value of £170 million (excl VAT). Previous costs were £127m. The tender also makes clear the provision of a new build extension to the existing Kent and Canterbury Hospital, enabling, access and supporting infrastructure works for EKHUFT

be at nil cost for the Trust, – i.e. a donated asset, to the Trust.

The Tender goes onto say:

The opportunity for a prospective developer is to purchase the proposed Hospital Development Site, together with the freehold of approximately 37 acres (14.38 acres from Kent County Council (KCC) and 22.72 acres from Canterbury City Council (CCC)) of land adjacent to the Hospital Development Site for independent future development (the “Master Plan Site”) from KCC and CCC and to deliver the Option 2 Shell and Core Works at nil consideration, i.e. a donated asset, to the Trust, prior to development of the Master Plan Site (the “Project”).

Boris Johnson never mentioned a free hospital in exchange for 2,000 homes in his speech at the Conservative Party Conference fringe meeting, on 1 Oct, 2019, when he said:

Yes, we are going to invest in the southeast. Yes, of course, we are putting money into hospitals. I’m delighted that Canterbury, for instance, is going to be one of the new hospitals we are building.

The next day [02.10.2019], The Department of Health confirmed there are ‘no immediate plans‘ for a new hospital in Canterbury.

The Trust put out an information notice alerting the market to a market engagement event on 28 March 2022, and pricing part of the second option for the new hospial scheme at £170m.

We know Quinn Estates £127m figure for building a new hospital at Canterbury, have previously been given the full financial endoscopy treatment, by Deloitte and KPMG. And nothing of any concern was found.

One can trash Quinn Estates, and Mark Quinn, but the company beat four other developers and will build a £170m hospital extension for free. Yes he’ll be allowed to build up to 2,000 homes on the land adjacent the site and make a profit. Is it a good deal!!!

We’ll leave you to decide that.

The Shepway Vox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful


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5 Comments on Developer offered land for 2,000 homes in exchange for building new hospital facility for free

  1. Will the chosen option be a fully built, fully fitted, fully functioning facility or a shell still needing millions spending to make it a fully functioning facility?
    If the latter, where will the funds come from and how soon to receiving (and treating) it’s first patients?

    • shepwayvox // April 20, 2022 at 19:05 // Reply

      The £170m saved because the Trust won’t be building the shell, will be spent on fitting out the facility.

  2. If it’s Quinn and his Russian mates then leave well alone

  3. Why has the trust gone into all this consultation when we know it has already decided to centre all services at Canterbury. A full 45 minutes from Romney Marsh and the same from Thanet. Lives will be lost if this proposal goes ahead

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