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Demolishing flats throws away asset
IT IS not often that I concur with Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, but I agree that the demolition of former nurses’ accommodation at the hospital is regrettable (The Press, May 2).
Unless the NHS trust bosses have firm proposals for hospital facilities, they are throwing away a valuable asset which could have been used to generate income – either a one-off capital receipt or a long-term rental income stream.
The buildings are not that old and whatever repairs and upgrades are required, these are negligible compared to the costs that would be involved if this housing was being applied for today.
The cost of merely preparing a planning application would be phenomenal and every home proposed would attract a planning submission fee of £335.
On top of this, the latest building regulations are tough and costly; and the Code for Sustainable Homes pushes costs up even higher, out of proportion to the benefits gained.
If the buildings were all new they would be caught by the council’s affordable housing policies, where at least 25 per cent of them would have to be handed over to a registered social landlord at a financial loss.
None of these burdens would apply to the renovation of existing homes.
Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.
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