This Victorian hospital has been sold - but one developer isn't happy about it

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 23 Jan 2019

A frustrated developer has hit out the way the sale of a big NHS-owned site in Hull is being handled.

The land and buildings off Park Street opposite the main entrance to the Tesco car park at St. Stephen's shopping centre is owned by the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust.

It includes the former Victoria Hospital for Sick Children, which is the oldest surviving health facility in the city, as well as neighbouring Victoria House and Clarendon House in nearby Clarendon Street.  The trust put the site up for sale last summer without advertising an asking price.

Since then, developer Saleem Hakim says he has tabled several offers including what he believes was the highest bid of £1m.  However, he says the trust has never taken any of his offers seriously and has even refused to allow his architects into the buildings to carry out proper valuation surveys.

For sale: The Victoria House site in Park Street

The Trust has revealed they are currently exchanging contracts after an offer was accepted.

Mr Hakim said: "This is a public body and I believe the sale of a public asset like should be as transparent as possible, particularly for those involved in any potential purchase, because at the end of the day it's about achieving the best possible value for money for the taxpayer.

"In this case, I would say the trust has been obstructive from the very start.

"The best and most transparent way to have sold this site would have been through an auction or via  a reputable agent but the trust has flatly declined to do either.

"To me, it smacks of a being done deal from the very start."

Clarendon House

Mr Hakim owns the former neighbouring Hull College complex in Park Street, which has planning approval for conversion into a hotel. Other recent projects he has overseen in Hull include hotel facelifts in Beverley Road and Mount Pleasant.

He said, along with another would-by buyer, he had been repeatedly ignored while the trust negotiated with an unnamed third party.

In a statement,  the health trust said: "The trust marketed the property for sale in May 2018 and received a number of offers which were all evaluated.

"This resulted in a report being presented to the trust board in September in which it was agreed to proceed with the best offer received.

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