Former Norwich asylum put up for sale

A large Victorian hospital building on the outskirts of Norwich has been put up for sale with a �2m price tag.

St Andrew's House, on St Andrew's Business Park in Thorpe St Andrew, and its 13-acre site has been put on the market by NHS Norfolk.

The hospital is being touted as a prime site for development, with NHS Norfolk keen to get the costly vacant property off its books and to use the money from the sale to improve or expand its existing health service buildings.

Estates spokesman Keith Jarvis said: 'St Andrew's is a very large building with impressive grounds and ideally situated between Broadland Business Park and St Andrews Park. Keeping a vacant property on our books is costly and the capital sum we raise from any sale will also be available to improve or expand the NHS estate so patients will benefit doubly.'

The hospital was founded and extended in the early to mid 19th century as the Norwich County Asylum.

It was a war hospital in the First World War and was changed to the Norwich Mental Hospital from 1919 to 1923, after which it was called St Andrew's Hospital.

In the early 1980s it was considered as a possible site for what is now the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital but the site at Colney was chosen instead.

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It was most recently used as offices by the Norfolk Primary Care Trust, now NHS Norfolk, which vacated the building in 2007 because it said it needed more modern premises.

The property has been on the market before, but the asking price was not made public. The slump in the property market meant it was subsequently removed from sale at the end of 2008.

Property agents Bidwells are listing the former hospital with a guide price of �2m.

Local planning provisions mean the property should continue to be used for an employment purpose such as offices.

Bidwells agent William Jones said: 'It is a prime site for someone to acquire. There are very few development opportunities in and around Norwich which can be purchased on a freehold basis.'