Up to 750 houses are set to be built on the 120-acre site of the former Whittingham Asylum near Preston under proposals put forward by Homes England.
Working with planner Barton Willmore and CampbellReith, Homes England has drawn up an outline planning application for the site, which will see the former hospital and surrounding land transformed into a housing-led development.
In total, Homes England is proposing up to 750 houses, while around six acres is being set aside to facilitate the relocation of the Whittingham & Goosnargh Sports & Social Club.
Another 3.7-acre plot will be safeguarded for the delivery of a primary school, while existing buildings on the site, including the grade two-listed St John’s Church, will be converted to residential use.
Green infrastructure will cover around 54 acres of the masterplan area. Affordable housing contributions will be split to provide 225 homes; however, 10% of these will be on-site and the remaining 20% will be off-site under a draft Section 106 agreement.
According to Homes England, the scheme will be phased with the first batch of 150 homes going out to market later this year, subject to planning. Planning documents suggest there will be further “sub-phases” that will be targeted at SME housebuilders and new market entrants.
Barton Willmore said there would be “limited or no affordable housing” in the initial phase of the development due to “high initial enabling infrastructure costs and consequential marginal viability”.
The Whittingham Hospital site, near the village of Goosnargh and around five miles outside Preston, was built in 1873 and grew to be the largest of its type in Britain, hosting nearly 3,000 patients across a wide range of buildings. The hospital also formerly had its own rail link before it closed in 1995.
The site was acquired by Homes England, then the Homes & Communities Agency, as part of its 2005 Hospital Sites Programme, but has not been redeveloped owing to market conditions, planning issues, and infrastructure constraints.
Previously, Taylor Wimpey was attached as housebuilder for the entire site, but is instead bringing forward 132 homes in the area, under a scheme known as Whittingham Park.
It is expected the housing development will require significant infrastructure works including a new spine road and the installation of sewerage works.
As well as CampbellReith and Barton Willmore, the professional team on the project includes JLL, the Vinden Partnership, The Environmental Partnership, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor, and Prime Transport. The team was appointed to the project in late 2017.