Next phase of Whittingham Hospital development to begin this year

Work on the next phase of the redevelopment of the former Whittingham Hospital is set to begin this summer, councillors have heard.

Sunday, 7th February 2021, 12:21 pm

Outline planning permission is in place for 750 homes on the yet-to-be-developed section of the Cumeragh Lane site.

A total of 150 properties have so far been completed by developer Taylor Wimpey on a separate portion of the plot.

Barratt Homes is now preparing to begin work on a second stage of the scheme to build the next 248 dwellings.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Part of the old Whittingham Hospital site, where the next phase of 248 homes out of a total of 900 will be built (image: Michelle Woodburn)

Its detailed plans for the latest phase have now been approved at a meeting of Preston City Council’s planning committee, where members were told that the firm expects to be on site by July.

Simon Artis, Barratt Homes’ planning manager, said that the company had no firm idea of a possible completion date, but that it wanted to “crack on” with the development.

There will be two access points to this part of the estate – a new one from Cumeragh Lane and one via Henry Littler Way, which was constructed during phase one of the development.

The two access roads will then connect and form a spine road across the wider site from Whittingham Lane through to Cumeragh Lane.

Work will begin in July on the largest stage of the development so far. Whittingham Hospital closed down in 1995 (image: Michelle Woodburn)

Three “pocket parks” will be included within the second phase development, along with a children’s play area, focused on the under-6s.

A pledge to redevelop Whittingham and Goosnargh Sports and Social Club will be fulfilled at a later stage of the build-out, but the meeting heard that Homes England, the landowner, was working with the club on that element of the scheme.

Twenty trees will be removed as part of the plans, but 196 new ones will be planted, along with what is described as “enhanced hedgerow”. The entrance to the site will set back and behind an existing tree line that will remain in place.

City council planning officer James Mercer told the meeting: “Quite a few of the trees [to be removed] were self-seeded or scrub trees – but there [is] unfortunately going to be the loss of some of the larger trees fronting Cumeragh Lane.”

Committee member David Borrow said: “It seems a long time since we first agreed the outline planning permission for Whittingham Hospital and it will be good to see this second phase go ahead.”

It is now 26 years since the hospital closed its doors and various permissions have been granted for the site since the late 1990s, but progress has only been made more recently.

However, the housing plans attracted 23 objections, with concerns raised over potential flooding and also questions over the demand for homes in the area.

The 30 percent of the dwellings that are to be classed as affordable will be distributed throughout the site, which will feature a mix of two, three and four bed detached, semi-detached and mews dwellings ranging from bungalows to houses two-and-a-half storeys high.

The meeting heard that work on another already-approved Barratt Homes site – for 117 properties off Cottam Way to the north west of Preston – is also likely to begin in July, after that, too, was given so-called “reserved matters” approval at the same meeting.