THIS IS the first glimpse of what a housing development in the grounds of a hospital could look like.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust is selling off part of Southlands Hospital in Shoreham for a potential housing development after declaring part of the site surplus to requirements.

An exhibition held at the hospital this week showed visitors what the houses could look like.

The plan is to demolish the unused Harness block and surrounding buildings in the grounds of the hospital and to make space to build 113 homes.

Comments and feedback from the exhibition, which attracted about 200 people, will be used to fine-tune the outline planning application being submitted next month.

The application will be submitted by financial services company BNP Paribas on behalf of the trust.

BNP Paribas association director Nigel Pugsley said: “We undertook a detailed analysis for the trust looking at what mixture of development on this site would bring about the greatest return for the trust to re-invest into hospital services.

“We came up with residential and have met with Adur and Worthing councils several times and they are very keen to see this site come forward for housing because they have a shortfall of identified housing sites within their district.”

The aim is to sell the site in the early part of next year and so the council is hoping to get a planning decision shortly after Christmas.

The trust said the rest of the hospital would not close.

The plan is for services, including outpatient and day care treatment and a new ophthalmology centre, to continue to be provided at the site.

It said money raised from the sale would be ploughed back into developing services at Southlands.

The decision to sell hospital land for housing has disappointed campaigners, who had wanted the site to be used for community and rehabilitation beds.

Former nurse Cathy Woolgard, from Shoreham, said: “That part of the site could have been used for health services of some kind and it has been an opportunity missed.

“There are also concerns about having extra houses in the area as there is no infrastructure to cope with the extra parking, school places and doctors’ services that will be needed to cope with demand caused by families moving in.”