The former Nestlé Waters bottling factory site in Buxton could be used for a new hospital, after positive talks between community groups and health organisations.
Buxton Civic Association, along with other groups including Vision Buxton, the Town Team, and Transition Buxton, have been trying to work out what would be the best use for the Station Road site, which has stood vacant since 2012.
Chairman of the civic association, Mike Monaghan, said: “This could be the most important development in Buxton for a generation if everyone is on board and agrees to make a hospital on this site.
“Last week we met with the health authorities and discussed the suitability of combining the health services in the town, such as the Cottage Hospital, Cavendish Hospital and having a base for the ambulances all on one site, and they seemed interested.”
This comes after Nestlé announced it was no longer working with the developer who wanted to build a supermarket, a 60-bed hotel and restaurant on the site.
The community groups are trying to find out what people want. Two residents groups have been contacted, alongside working with the university to see what could be done with the old site.
A spokesman for Nestlé said: “Nestlé Waters UK can confirm that the agreement with Consolidated Property Group (CPG) concerning our previous factory premises on Station Road, Buxton, has come to an end.
“We are still committed to redeveloping the site in a way that provides a positive impact to the local community.
“We are aware, through CPG, that there were many ideas suggested for the future use of the site during their consultation process.
“We will now be taking time to review these internally and to have an initial discussion with High Peak Borough Council, before setting out our plans of how to move forward with the site.”
Mike thinks having a combined medical services site would benefit Buxton and the wider area.
He said: “We will support any viable option which brings in commercial and community use for the area.
“The town needs this development and there has long been talks about a new hospital. It would be great if it did get off the ground.”
Mike was keen to stress that these preliminary talks are just about gathering ideas.
He said: “If Nestlé decided this was the project for them, then it would be good for the community and it is in an ideal location.
“These aren’t confirmed plans and we are a long way off the end result, but it feels good to have got the ball rolling by finding out what people want.”
Mike added that the groups would be speaking to Nestlé before May to let them know about the feedback received.
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