Derelict eyesore gets worse

Written by  Friday, 17 February 2017 08:45
The derelict Marie Foster home The derelict Marie Foster home
Yet again NHS Property Services appears to be in a state of indecision about the future of the derelict Marie Foster home that continues to blight High Barnet’s Wood Street conservation area.

For the last five years, the Barnet Society has been hearing the same old story: that a decision is “imminent” on the fate of what was once the nurses home for the former Barnet Maternity Hospital.

Although it seemed likely at the end of last year that the site was to be sold off by the NHS, the Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers, has now been informed that its possible use for the health service is being reconsidered.

In response to a question from Jenny Kobish, Mrs Villiers told the society’s annual question and answer session that the continuing dereliction and indecision over the future of the Marie Foster building was an outrage.

“It is just criminal that it has been left as it is for so long. I have raised this at the cabinet table, I have raised this in debate at Westminster, and I raise it every three months with the NHS.”

She said the root of the problem was that every now and again the NHS looked again at the site for possible use by the health service. One option that came and went was the possibility of using it as a surgery and health centre for general practitioners.

“The last I heard from NHS property services, just before Christmas, is that the NHS had almost made a decision that it was not needed for health purposes, but the very latest is that the NHS are looking at it again for health purposes.

“Either the NHS uses it for health purposes or allows it to be redeveloped...I promise I will keep on banging on about its future until something is sorted outed.”

Questions about the future of the Marie Foster building are a hardy annual. At the Q&A sessions in 2012 and 2013, the Society was assured that a decision was “imminent”.

But the earlier clarity disappeared when the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, explained that NHS Property Services were having to work closely with the Barnet clinical commissioning group to “determine the most appropriate option for the future of the Marie Foster site” and would take their lead from the local commissioners to ensure that local NHS services were not disadvantaged.

At the time, Mr Hunt’s explanation seemed at odds – and still does – with the government’s objective that unused NHS sites should be disposed of “as soon as is practical” in order to release funds back into front-line services.

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5 comments

  • Comment Link Monday, 20 February 2017 14:43 posted by Jenny Petch

    I'd rather it looked like that than more flats and no infrastructure to cope with the increasing population !!!

  • Comment Link Monday, 20 February 2017 14:44 posted by Lindsey Sharp

    First time buyers can't afford any of the properties being built round here so what's the point of building more

  • Comment Link Monday, 20 February 2017 14:44 posted by Tim Webster

    Knock it down and build flats. Sod the nimbys! Oh, and if you build enough new housing, it becomes more affordable. And the council tax paid by the new occupants... spend that on infrastructure! It's not difficult.

  • Comment Link Monday, 20 February 2017 14:45 posted by Genevieve Abranson

    I think they should do it up as an outpatient mental health service, for the ones struggling but not so bad to be sectioned. Currently Barnet patients get sent to Edgware, from depressive to schizophrenia & everything inbetween. Edgware is hard to get to for people with mental health problems, & its very busy with huge waiting times. Some patients are very ill, & for those with less severe cases it can give then anxiety of phobias thats where they are going to end up at. This would be a great outpatient building & location for counselling and psychotherapy for depression, ODC, anxiety, & other life effecting mental health which isn't bad enough to be sectioned but certainly needs addressing. It wouldn't bother the neighbours, because they aren't dangerous or loud. Theres a huge gap in help for those who are not harming others or seen as a threat to society, but who can't function because of their own deep rooted problems. This would be perfect for them, & there is a need for it. Shame its not going to happen because of all the cutbacks, & it will end up being luxury flats brought by foreign investors who don't even live in them, but charge extortionate rents.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 14 March 2017 21:15 posted by rob

    wow, the nimbys around here really baffle me. You'd really rather have a derelict building than new flats and much needed homes for your fellow londoners to live in??!!!

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