Plans for former Preston mental hospital revealed

Demolition of Ribbleton Hospital has started
Demolition of Ribbleton Hospital has started
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The site of a former Preston mental hospital that closed down in 2015 is to be redeveloped for housing, it has been revealed.

The 3.6 hectares of land where Ribbleton Hospital used to sit has been aquired by Government body Homes England, which is now launching a consultation calling for feedback on plans for the build.

Homes England refused to divulge any specific details of the site, saying that the masterplan will be unveiled on Monday, but has revealed that the site is set to be used for housing.

Homes England - backed by the Ministry of Housing and a specialist in affordable housing – is intending to submit a planning application to Preston City Council later this year.

It is inviting residents to take a look at the plans at two drop-in consultation sessions next week.

Coun Nicholas Pomfret who represents Ribbleton at PCC said that, based on the limited information available about the development, broadly speaking he welcomed more housing to the area but had a number of questions concerning the build.

“I’m going to attend the consultation,” he said. “I will be dropping in there just to ask some questions about the type of housing - whether its private or social because we haven’t got any answers at the moment.

“It looks like Homes England is acquiring sites, getting planning permission for them and then selling them on.

“As a local council we do welcome more housing because of the shortage of housing and it’s a better than leaving the site derelict after the demolition.

“The main entrance to Ribbleton Hospital was Miller Road but if you go round the bend and turn left there’s a cul-de-sac called Sandycroft which also accesses the same land. Whether they will be requiring access from there as well I don’t know.

“There’s concerns with the bend as it’s a bit of a dangerous bend and if there’s more traffic it would be dangerous.

“More housing is obviously welcome rather than leaving the site to go to waste.”

Ribbleton Hospital - which had 28 mental health inpatient beds - closed its doors in March 2015 after a new unit opened in Blackpool.

It had been providing care to seriously mentally ill elderly people since the 1980s.

Patients were moved from the hospital in Miller Road to a new facility in Blackpool called The Harbour - a 154-bed purpose built facility on Preston New Road run by Lancashire Care NHS Trust.

Since its closure the building had been plagued by anti-social behaviour which led to its demolition over the winter of 2017.

Members of the public are invited to two drop-in consultation sessions to discuss the masterplan with representatives of Homes England and their advisors.

These events will be held at Sir Tom Finney Community High School in Ribbleton Hall Drive, Preston.

They take place on Monday, November 5 between 5pm and 8pm and on Saturday, November 10 between 11am and 2pm.

Residents who are unable to attend the drop-in sessions can request the information from ribbletonhospital@bdp.com or by telephone on 0161 828 2217 from November 5 and send comments to the same address until November 16.