A former hospital building being demolished although it is less than 30 years old has been sold to a housing developer.
The hospital, in Falkirk Road, Bonnybridge, was closed by the NHS in December 2011 and its services transferred to Falkirk Community Hospital.
Local councillors and community organisations expressed hope at the time that a new public use for Bonnybridge Hospital, which opened in the late 1980s, could be found.
But those plans have turned to dust as contractors arrived on the large canalside site last week and are busy tearing down the building.
The NHS has said the decision to demolish was taken because of continuing security and maintenance problems at the vacant site.
The former hospital building was repeatedly targeted by thieves looking to strip it of scrap metal to sell.
Barratt Homes, one of the country’s biggest housing developers, will acquire the site if it can win planning permission from Falkirk Council to build.
Bonnybridge councillor Billy Buchanan said he was bitterly disappointed a new community use could not be found for the building.
“It was my hope that Bonnybridge Health Centre could relocate to the former hospital,” he said.
“Bonnybridge, like many other areas, has an aging population, and demand for local health services is only going to increase.
“It was my hope that we could find some kind of arrangement that would have kept this building, which was in an excellent condition.”
An NHS spokeswoman said: “Bonnybridge Hospital closed in December 2011 following the transfer of services to Falkirk Community Hospital.
“Despite extensive work with GPs, dentists and community partners such as Falkirk Community Trust, to reuse the facilities for alternative community purposes, no suitable uses were identified and the site was therefore put up for sale.
“Due to ongoing security and maintenance issues a decision has been taken to demolish the buildings.
“Barratt Homes was selected as preferred developer following the open marketing of the site in summer 2013, and will acquire the site for residential development, subject to planning permission.”