THE FUTURE of the Bootham Park Hospital site will be the focus of a public meeting in York tonight.

Rachael Maskell, York Central MP, will be at the meeting at 7pm at the Friends Meeting House on Friargate, inviting residents to voice their views on how they would like the land to be used.

It comes a day after she handed in a petition at Westminster, with 8386 signatures, calling for the site to continue to be used to provide healthcare for York residents.

She said: "I am delighted that all public services, local authority, NHS, police and all political parties support the proposal to repurpose the site for healthcare and a public park rather than the development of a luxury hotel and luxury apartments and the petition therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to accept the proposal put forward by York Teaching Hospital, in co-operation with City of York Council, to continue providing healthcare for the people of York and to provide affordable and social housing for key workers who are NHS staff."

Ms Maskell revealed in August that the sale of the former psychiatric hospital had been put on hold, and the health secretary was expected to make a decision about the site in the autumn.

NHS Property Services said at the time the site had been declared "surplus to NHS needs" but they "remain engaged with local partners on potential uses for the site".