Old Byron Hospital site could go to the highest bidder
THE prime parcel of land where the Byron District Hospital sits could well be auctioned off to the highest bidder for commercial development when the new Byron Central Hospital begins operating next month.
Given the sizeable plot of land is in short walking distance to the heart of the tourist hub, it's unlikely any government bodies will find it financially feasible to purchase the multi-million dollar land for community services.
To give some perspective, a 2499sqm commercial property on the outskirts of town near the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Centre has been listed for sale online for $1.4 million.
In Northern Sydney, the sale of the Manly Hospital site, which will close in 2018 when the new hospital opens, caused community uproar over concerns developers would purchase the land for residential or business use.
The Northern NSW Local Health District said it was still too early to be "definitive" about the future uses of the disused Byron hospital site.
The Byron Bay District Hospital is property of the NSW Health Administration Corporation.
Local Health District Acting Chief Executive Wayne Jones said once the new Byron Central Hospital was up and running, the old Byron Hospital would become surplus.
He said it was normal practice for the owners, the Health Administration Corporation, to work with Government Property NSW in the "disposal of surplus properties at the appropriate time."
Mr Jones said discussions were underway about how to proceed given the particular issues on the site.
Meanwhile, the Mullumbimby Hospital Action Group is pushing to have the future of the soon-to-be redundant Mullumbimby hospital site used for aged care services and facilities, disability housing, a refuge for women escaping domestic violence and social housing for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner has previously said the Health Department intends to sell the site.
Both the hospital building itself and the community health centre are set to be demolished once asbestos materials are removed.