CHRISTCHURCH health centre has been cited as one of the worst unused buildings in the country for wasted Department of Health rent, according to an investigation.

The building, which has lain empty since 1989, still has a lease in place and rent, rates and service charges apparently totalling £450,000 are still paid, a Sky News investigation revealed.

There are 50 years remaining on the tenancy, increasing the Department of Health's liability by a further £2million.

Despite attempts to surrender the contract they have been unable to do so.

Christchurch MP Chris Chope last year vowed to take up the issue of the empty health centre describing it as one of the "most important issues in the town."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "This is an unacceptable use of public money and this government is determined to sort it out."

They said they are in discussions with the landlord of Christchurch Health Centre to negotiate the surrender of the lease.