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Public land is being sold to developers – but the vast majority will be unaffordable for key workers.

Photo: Flickr CC/Graham West

NHS land in Bristol has been sold off by the government for housing developments unaffordable to the majority of NHS workers.

Across the UK, 59 pieces of NHS land have been sold for development between 2015 – 2017. Eighty percent of the homes are out of reach for NHS key workers, with just 10% genuinely affordable social housing, according to the New Economics Foundation.

Of all the homes to be built for sale on NHS land across the UK, four out of five will be unaffordable to a nurse on an average salary.

In Bristol, the redevelopment of former Frenchay Hospital land will have 490 homes but just 22, or 4%, are classed as genuinely affordable at social housing levels. While another 87 houses are officially designated as ‘affordable’ they will still be very expensive for most NHS staff. Last year a spokesperson for North Bristol NHS Trust said: “Land at the former Frenchay Hospital was surplus to requirements.”

Redrow Homes, the developer of the Frenchay site, saw record profits last year and boosted its payout to shareholders by 70%.

The other piece of NHS land in the Bristol area will be developed into nine units in Kingswood, none of which will be affordable.

See the map below created by the New Economics Foundation for the nationwide picture.

Plans for selling NHS land may be accelerated. In May 2017, the government backed the findings of an independent report called the Taylor Review that encouraged the sale of NHS land designated as surplus.


(Map created by the New Economics Foundation)

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