HEALTH bosses have been left with a £1million bill after delaying three major NHS developments across East Lancashire.

Work was controversially postponed by East Lancashire Primary Care Trust on a new Clitheroe Hospital complex and construction of the new Colne Health Centre, last November, due to the recession.

Demolition of Great Harwood Health Centre has also been in the pipeline since 2009, when Hyndburn Council gave permission to pull down the Water Street building and nearby Albion Mill.

But the three sites still need urgent maintenance work to keep them afloat, as trust board members have been told it could be up to three years before replacements are found and funded.

This year alone approval has been given to repairs totalling £250,000 at Clitheroe Hospital and £150,000 at Colne Health Centre in Market Street.

Another £550,000 is pencilled in for the overhaul of the Great Harwood centre, over the next couple of years.

Pulling down Albion Mill is set to cost £150,000 and maintenance costs of £100,000 are envisaged in 2010-11. Installing portable buildings, as as stopgap measure, will result in a £300,000 bill.

Estates director Chris Dixon said in a board report: “It should be noted that it would take two to three years to provide new facilities at these sites from the point of a board approval for such developments. Therefore during this time period, maintenance to existing premises will be required.”

Council chiefs and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans were angered a month ago when a decision on £15.5million plans to replace Clitheroe Hospital were put on the back burner until September.

Labour and Lib Dem campaigners in Colne have also criticised delays in progressing the replacement health centre there, in Craddock Road.