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Work to demolish part of Folkestone's Royal Victoria Hospital given the green light

By Sam Williams

Work to demolish part of a dilapidated hospital - described as a serious health and safety risk - has been given the go-ahead.

An application to turn the Royal Victoria Hospital in Folkestone into a residential development was submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) in April.

Plans include converting the main hospital building, while the redundant outbuildings and extensions will be torn down to make room for more homes.

Fokestone's Royal Victoria Hospital
Fokestone's Royal Victoria Hospital

The application was submitted by agents Strutt and Parker on behalf of applicant Alliance Building Ltd, based in Folkestone.

Prior notification was given to the council in regards to the demolition of a four storey building and two single storey buildings.

Documents state: "The proposed demolition of these buildings is necessary to facilitate the redevelopment of the site.

"The condition of some of the buildings has deteriorated and are in a poor state of repair.

"Demolition is required to prevent them from becoming a serious health and safety risk."

The site has been shut for many years. Pictured in 1990
The site has been shut for many years. Pictured in 1990

Last week, FHDC confirmed that "prior approval is not required" for the work, advising the developers that they can proceed without any objections.

Planning documents originally submitted stated work was being proposed to start in June.

A second bat survey on the site was ordered after the first, which took place in January, could not confirm if the protected animals remained on site.

The hospital, which opened more than 100 years ago, has fallen into major disrepair over the last decade. .

In 2015 an unsuccessful campaign was launched by members of the Women's Institute in Folkestone, who led calls for improved health care or social care at the site.

But it has remained empty for more than a decade after its last ward closed in 2006.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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