Hospital homes site ‘may need several developers’

Vision: An artist's impression of new homes at the Whittingham Hospital site
Vision: An artist's impression of new homes at the Whittingham Hospital site
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Housing giant Taylor Wimpey is believed to be on the verge of quitting as the ‘chosen developer’ for the whole of the former Whittingham Hospital site near Preston.

It is thought Taylor Wimpey has failed to agree with site owners the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Lancashire County Council and Preston Council the amount of funding it would be required to put towards the Broughton bypass in return for developing the site.

The news means the development of the former hospital land – which first received planning permission for large scale housing development in 1998 – may eventually be carried out by a number of developers, rather than just one.

The HCA is seeking renewal next month of previously approved outline plans for 650 new homes and 9,000sq m of office, recreational and other facilities.

A spokesman for the HCA said today: “Whittingham Hospital is a complex site and delivery has been made more challenging by the economic downturn, but we have been working hard alongside Taylor Wimpey, Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council and have agreed the way forward.

“Taylor Wimpey will be developing the first phase of 150 units, with the HCA using receipts from this deal to fund demolition works on the site.

“The second phase of development will then be taken to the market later in 2014.

“The Whittingham Hospital site will make a considerable financial contribution to the Broughton bypass through contributions from the sale of phases two, three and four of the site.

“Lancashire County Council is also putting considerable funding into the scheme as a result of the new Preston City Deal. ”

Taylor Wimpey has pledged its allegiance to the development of the former Whittingham Hospital site but did not comment on the latest speculation.

The HCA’s application to renew its planning consent will go before Preston Council’s planning committee on February 3.

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