Developers poised for a killing on hospital

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The Independent Online
DOZENS of property developers are sitting with their pens poised ready to cross off or add a nought to their bid for one of the biggest chunks of prime London land to hit the market for some time, writes Anne Spackman.

The site on the Fulham Road, south-west London, may look like a hospital, but to a developer it is 42,500 sq ft worth millions of pounds. Just how much hangs on a decision expected imminently from Peter Brooke's office at the Department of National Heritage.

The Kensington Society has applied for Grade II listing on the Royal Brompton Hospital north building, left empty by relocation to Sydney Street near by. It particularly wants the Victorian facade, central staircase and a boardroom preserved. It has also applied to upgrade the chapel from Grade II to Grade III*, so it could not be touched.

Listing creates a mountain of paperwork as well as additional costs for the developer, but they would gain exemption from VAT.

Eighty companies have visited the two-and-a-half-acre freehold site and a further 80 have paid pounds 30 for an information pack from the agents, Knight Frank & Rutley. Offers are to be in by next Wednesday and are expected to exceed the guide price of pounds 7m.

(Photographs omitted)