Forty-nine new flats could be built at former Eastbourne private hospital

The Esperance Hospital in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190310-095905008The Esperance Hospital in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190310-095905008
The Esperance Hospital in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190310-095905008
Plans have been unveiled to build 49 new flats at a well-known former private hospital in Eastbourne.

Proposals from developers Stonegate Homes Ltd could see The Esperance Hospital, in Hartington Place, be transformed into a mix of one, two and three bed properties.

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In a design and access statement submitted to the Eastbourne Borough Concil planning committee, the developers said it plans to reuse the existing building and changes will have ‘minimal impact’ on the appearance of the former hospital.

The hospital has been vacant since it closed down.

Originally called Fernbank, the property was built in 1865.

It stayed in the same ownership until 1898, when it was purchased by the Reverend Canon and Mrs Edmond and their two sons.

The Edmunds decided to sell, and in 1917 it was purchased by the nursing branch of the Holy Family of Bordeaux Sisters. Financial support came from the paying guests, and within five weeks there were 20.

The war effort intervened, and within two months wounded officers arrived with the paying guests leaving.

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The Esperance even in the 1920s was a proper hospital. The operating theatre was on the top floor, the kitchen was in the basement, which is where the theatre is today.

The Sisters were proud of their record in 1987 with 49 beds, 60 staff, and treating an average of 2,000 patients annually.

But the time came to leave, selling initially to GM Healthcare and ultimately BMI Healthcare.

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