A hospital built more than 120 years ago may be bulldozed and replaced by a brand new complex, the Daily Echo can reveal.
NHS bosses are also studying an alternative proposal to upgrade the ageing Hythe and Dibden War Memorial Hospital – formerly a private mansion built in 1891.
Whichever scheme is approved over the next few months the new-look hospital would open its doors in the autumn of 2015.
Talks have been taking place since all 16 in-patient beds were closed in 2010, leaving part of the main building empty. The site also includes a medical centre built in 1965.
Providing a new hospital or refurbishing the existing facility would both cost more than £5m.
An NHS spokesman said the present building was structurally sound and big enough to house a wide range of services but needed major alterations.
A replacement complex would meet the latest construction standards as well as being more energy efficient and cost effective. The spokesman added: “During construction clinical services currently housed in the main hospital would be accommodated in the medical centre. On completion the centre would be demolished, releasing land for disposal.”
The two options were outlined at a meeting of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council.
James Bawn, representing NHS Hampshire, said more than half the people who took part in the recent public consultation supported plans for a new building.
Council chairman Councillor Maureen Robinson said the talks had improved relations between health chiefs and the community, adding: “The amount of consultation that’s gone into this project is second to none. A few years ago there was very little trust, but we’ve moved on enormously.”
After the meeting Cllr Robinson said a new hospital on the site would provide patients with a facility fit for the 21st century.