A new hospital, hotels, residential development, a museum, offices and shops are some of the property proposals that the provincial government is considering for the Somerset Hospital site. Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle told the provincial legislature yesterday that the current proposals for the historical hospital's site allowed for mixed, and more intensive, land uses.
In addition to the existing proposals it was suggested that the development concept should:
Have "active edges" on to Portswood Road and Granger Bay Boulevard, by opening up the boundary wall and locating public activities and retail along the street facade;
Be linked into the surroundings and the openness of the hospital site should be enhanced by promoting pedestrian access through the site; and
Reinforce pedestrian links into the V&A Waterfront.
"To provide a timeframe for implementation at this point would be premature, until the project implementation plan has been completed.
"However, the preliminary planning work has commenced," said Carlisle.
Earlier this year, Carlisle and Health MEC Theuns Botha told the Cape Argus that the province wanted to move the hospital from Green Point to the northern sector of the metropole, where it would serve the densely populated West Coast region.
They said the plans to build a hospital in the Du Noon area to serve the Du Noon, Atlantis and Malmesbury areas were at "a very early" stage.
Botha said a suitable site in the Du Noon area had been identified - in a residential area and close to a taxi rank - but declined to give further details.
"It is still in very early stages... (these are) still informal discussions," he said.
Another reason for moving the hospital was that the City Bowl, Green Point and Waterfront areas were served by private hospitals, while there was an urgent and immediate need for a public hospital on the West Coast, Carlisle explained.
Somerset Hospital is a heritage site and had "huge sentiment as the oldest hospital in the country".
Carlisle said he was confident that the site would not be sold.
He said that once the hospital had moved, which would probably be more than a year "from now", the site would be used as part of the city's regeneration plans.
He said many of the "old, ugly buildings" around the hospital precinct would be demolished to improve the aesthetics of the area before the World Cup kick-off.
The province has also signed a lease with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), to build a studio on the roof of the hospital to broadcast the World Cup.Last week, Premier Helen Zille opened the hospital's new trauma unit, which will be one of Cape Town's emergency medical centres during the World Cup.