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HCA announces developer partners for Lancaster Moor site

Published date : 6 November 2012

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has chosen the PJ Livesey Group and Story Homes to develop its landmark Lancaster Moor Hospital site in a deal worth £67.8m.

It is one of the Agency’s most significant agreements for the North West and will see the historic Grade II listed building on Quernmore Road in Lancaster restored and up to 440 high quality homes created on the 15.76 hectare site.

Outline planning permission has already been granted for the new build homes and the conversion of the former hospital annexe and the adjoining Campbell House, into apartments and houses.

The conversion work will be carried out by Manchester based restoration specialists, the PJ Livesey Group, which has vast experience of transforming listed buildings for residential use. The organisation will be responsible for obtaining listed building consent for the development.

Story Homes will lead the development of the masterplan for the whole site, incorporating existing parking, green space and mature woodland that benefits from a Tree Preservation Order. Once plans have been drawn up, a community consultation programme will be put in place to ensure the scheme meets the needs of local people.

Story Homes will build the majority of the new properties on the site. The company has sites throughout Cumbria, South West Scotland and the North East and has won several awards for quality and design.

The HCA has worked in partnership with Lancaster City Council and English Heritage to prepare the site for the development of the new homes. The HCA is investing £3m through its Accelerated Land Disposal Programme to support a programme of enabling and infrastructure works that will include new access arrangements; upgrades to the main access road; demolition of outbuildings and asbestos removal; and further survey works linked to the planning requirements.

Designed by architect Arnold Kershaw, Lancaster Moor was built in 1882 as an annexe to accommodate mental health patients. More latterly it was used by the NHS before closing in 1999.

Work is expected to start onsite this month.

Deborah Mclaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA said:

“Unlocking publicly-owned sites to speed up the delivery of housing developments is a key priority for the HCA. Selecting preferred development partners for this major public sector site marks a significant milestone in the ongoing regeneration of Lancaster. Having lain empty for a number of years, it’s great that we can now begin to make this an attractive place to live.

"I know that the developers are keen to deliver a scheme that meets the needs and aspirations of local people, creating much needed affordable homes that will have a positive impact on the local community.” 

Andrew Dobson, Lancaster City Council's Head of Regeneration and Policy, said: 

"The city council has worked hard to find the flexibility to help the HCA restructure this development opportunity and we are delighted that development partners have been found to move the scheme forward.
"The hospital annex is an important Lancaster landmark alongside the M6 corridor and its renovation, together with a high quality new build housing scheme alongside, will make a valuable contribution to implementing the council's Local Plan." 

Georgina Livesey of PJ Livesey said:

“As a company we are used to working with listed buildings and can see the potential of Lancaster Moor to become a thriving community in a truly beautiful setting.

“The building is a local landmark of great presence and scale and has some wonderful features which will be incorporated during the conversion.

 “We are delighted to again be working with the HCA on a project to bring such a magnificent building back into sustainable use.”

Steve Errington, Managing Director for Story Homes commented:

“This is an exciting project for us. It will see an area which is steeped in history brought back into use to create a quality, high specification development for which we are renowned. As well as regenerating the area and bringing affordable/quality housing, the development will boost the local economy not only in terms of jobs but also the procurement of materials and services from local companies.”

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