ACTION is needed to prevent Aldershot's former Cambridge Military Hospital, pictured above, from becoming unsafe.

Consultants hired by Rushmoor Council have discovered that the historic building's administration block is riddled with dry rot.

They say the decay to the structure is likely to have been caused by blocked and un-maintained gutters and drains.

"If allowed to continue, this problem will result in structural failure," add the Ingram Consultancy in their report.

The building, which dates back to 1879, has been left to rot since it was closed by the Ministry of Defence six years ago.

Councillors are so worried that they have called on army garrison chiefs to arrange immediate remedial work.

Keith Holland, council planning services chief, said on Monday: "We have asked the MoD to give us a repair programme.

"This is a very serious problem which can't be allowed to drift."

The hospital, which once treated up to 247 service and civilian patients at any one time, is a Grade 2 listed building.

"It is a prominent feature of the town and obviously has to be maintained," added Mr Holland.

Despite having had six years to think about it, the Ministry of Defence has still not decided what to do with the former hospital.

Councillors believe the MoD may eventually try to sel`l the building as part of its Operation Connaught plan to reduce the size of the garrison town.