COMMERCIAL: Western Sussex Hospitals Trust has received two responses to a request for plans to redevelop a surplus part of its estate at Southlands Hospital.

The responses have been submitted following an extension of the deadline to give the two interested parties more time to develop their proposals for the Harness Block.

External experts will now advise the trust on whether they represent viable plans for the block.

The trust has said it is “keen” to find a community use for the site “if possible”, and has approached a wide range of organisations about the opportunity to develop detailed plans for the building.

However, it initially failed to generate any interest after first approaching local organisations in December, leading to two deadline extensions.

Trust director of finance Spencer Prosser said: “The responses will be given to independent advisors, and they will now assess the information they have been given.

“When they have completed that assessment they will advise us whether the plans are felt to offer a viable future for the Harness Block.”

Patients are no longer being treated in the block.