A HISTORIC property once earmarked to become the main hospital in Taunton could be turned into a hotel, generating millions of pounds for the NHS.

Grade II listed Lyngford House, in Selworthy Road, is up for sale by informal tender, with the bidding deadline set at midday on Monday, November 16.

The estate, on a four-acre site, was previously used by the NHS as a training and conference centre with room for 130 delegates but has stood empty since February after being declared surplus to health service requirements.

James Wakeham, South regional director for NHS Property Services, said: “We know this historic building is important to people in Taunton.

“Our role is to ensure best value from the sale for the benefit of the NHS and the taxpayer.”

The site comprises the main building with adjoining cottage and stable block, a 1980s purpose-built hotel block with 18 en-suite bedrooms, a conference centre, parking and grounds.

The property, being marketed by Hartnell Taylor Cook LLP, currently has planning permission for use as a hotel, although the buyer would be able to apply to change its use.

Among possible uses, subject to obtaining the relevant consents, are conference facilities, healthcare, care home, retirement/assisted living and residential conversion with some demolition of non-listed buildings and new development within the grounds.

NHS Property Services, which took on Lyngford House from Somerset Primary Care Trust under the 2013 health reforms, put the site on the market after other public sector bodies failed to show an interest in acquiring it.

The house was built around 1830 for John Roy Allen, a member of a prominent West Country family whose relatives lived there for generations.

After the Second World War, the estate was bought by the Taunton and Somerset Hospital and for many years it was due to become Taunton’s main hospital before the plan was eventually dropped in the 1970s and Musgrove Park Hospital was extended following the closure of East Reach Hospital.

It first became a training venue in the late 1940s as a ‘temporary’ measure.

NHS Property Services is responsible for managing 4,000 NHS buildings worth an estimated £3billion and part of its remit is to sell buildings the NHS no longer needs, with money generated returned to the service.