Housing scheme at derelict hospital gets under way

From left, Neil Graham, HCA, Brian Ham, Home Group, and Stephen McCoy, Galliford Try, were present at the start of the work. Picture by Jane Coltman

From left, Neil Graham, HCA, Brian Ham, Home Group, and Stephen McCoy, Galliford Try, were present at the start of the work. Picture by Jane Coltman

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Construction work has started this week on a £90million development project in Morpeth.

A partnership between the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Galliford Try and Home Group will transform the disused and derelict St George’s Hospital.

When complete, the scheme will deliver a mixture of 374 properties – from two bedroomed apartments to five bedroomed executive homes – for sale and affordable rent.

Galliford Try managing director Stephen McCoy said: “The aim is to create a high-quality housing development that will be integrated into the surrounding area by linking to and enhancing existing natural features, including the adjacent Bluebell and Howburn Woods.

“The regeneration project will also provide some significant public open space.”

Work on the 374 properties is going to take place in three phases. The first will see 121 homes built, of which 36 will be affordable (22 available for rent and 14 for shared ownership).

All of the dwellings will be designed and built by Linden Homes, Galliford Try’s house-building division.

Neil Graham, head of area – North East with the HCA, said: “This start on site is great news for Morpeth.

“We’ve worked with Galliford Try and Linden Homes on many schemes over the years and we know they will provide the local community with the homes that they need.

“The development will make excellent use of the existing site to ensure that the new properties will complement the homes that already exist in the town and by working with Home Group (a social enterprise), we will ensure that there are homes suitable for everyone.”

The old Victorian hospital, which originally opened in 1859, is now in a very poor state of repair and has been closed to the public since 1995.

The plans include incorporating some of the existing building into the new development if structurally possible.