English Partnerships Names Developer For First Hospital Site

English Partnerships has named Taylor Woodrow as the preferred developer for part of the former Park Prewett hospital site in Basingstoke.

The site, which will provide more than 1,000 new homes, is the first to be sold by the national regeneration agency from its portfolio of 96 surplus NHS properties. The sale marks the first step in a programme that aims to deliver up to 14,000 new homes nationally, up to 50 per cent of which will be affordable.

David Hughes, Project Director for English Partnerships said, “This is a major milestone in our Hospital Sites Programme. It means that this old hospital site will soon become a new and vibrant community for hundreds of families. Working closely with Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council we have been able to speed up the delivery of much needed new homes in the town and we now look forward to working with Taylor Woodrow at Park Prewett.”

The total site area for this first phase of development is almost 34 ha and will include 884 new homes to be developed by Taylor Woodrow, under the Bryant Homes brand.

In addition, four ha of the site (alongside the land to be developed by Taylor Woodrow) has been earmarked for at least 130 more homes as part of the English Partnerships’ Design for Manufacture competition (being run on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister). The total number of affordable and first time buyer homes across both sites will be in the region of 40 per cent.

Malcolm Pink, Regional Managing Director for Taylor Woodrow South added, “English Partnerships has demonstrated its confidence in our capacity to deliver based upon our joint achievements elsewhere and our specific plans to enhance the housing stock in the Basingstoke area."

Park Prewett was marketed in July this year, just three months after the hospital sites were transferred to English Partnerships from the Department of Health. It is one of the largest residential sites in the current Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council Local Plan. Already with the benefit of detailed planning permission, the site will have a major impact on addressing housing shortages in the area. Tenders for the site were judged on quality of design before financial offers were considered, with bidders meeting English Partnerships’ quality development standards covering energy efficiency, environmental issues, public security, safety and sustainability.

Part of the site, known as the ‘core area’ includes a concentration of former hospital buildings including The Clock Tower House, The Water Tower, The Main Hall, six ‘fan’ buildings and four garden pavilions. These buildings will be retained and converted into homes along with new community facilities and local shops.

English Partnerships is working closely with English Heritage to ensure that any buildings (currently 44) or landscapes (currently four) of historic significance are preserved across the portfolio of the Hospital Sites Programme. The portfolio of sites, which consists of around 1,600 ha of land in total, is expected to generate up to £1bn in private sector investment within the next five years. In addition to new homes the Programme is set to deliver up to 80,000 sq m of employment space and should see more than 500 ha of brownfield land reclaimed and brought back into productive use.

Taylor Woodrow and English Partnerships expect to sign disposal contracts early in the New Year to enable work to start on site in May 2006.

In addition to the development area with planning permission there is another 14 ha of surplus hospital land to the north which will now be masterplanned, with the full involvement of the local community, to secure outline planning consent for approximately 700 homes of which at least 40 per cent will be affordable. The site will be marketed and released for future development in line with the requirements of the emerging local plan.

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