St. George's 4Work has begun on an ambitious £90 million development project which will revive a former hospital site, creating a mixed tenure community in a green, woodland setting.

A partnership comprising the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Galliford Try and Home Group will transform the disused and derelict St. George’s Hospital, just half a mile from the centre of Northumberland’s County Town, Morpeth.

The project will deliver a mixture of 374 high quality properties from two bedroomed apartments to five bedroomed executive homes, for sale and affordable rent.

All will be designed and built by the award-winning* Linden Homes – Galliford Try’s house building division – and will be exclusive to this site.  The developer’s track record of sympathetic design was a key factor in it being selected by the HCA.

“The aim is to create a high quality housing development, integrated into the surrounding area by linking to and enhancing existing natural features – including the adjacent Bluebell and Howburn Woods,” said Stephen McCoy, Managing Director with Galliford Try.  “The regeneration project will also provide significant public open space that will produce a development that is very different to anything else available in the area.”

Neil Graham, Head of Area – North East with the HCA, added:  “This start on site is great news for the local community.  We have worked with Galliford Try and Linden Homes on many schemes over the years and we know that 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 homes will complement the homes that already exist in the town and by working with Home Group will ensure that there are homes suitable for everyone.”

Brian Ham, Executive Director of Enterprise and Development with Home Group, said:  “We’re excited to once again be working with Galliford Try and the HCA to build homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale. The development at St. George’s Hospital will bring new life to an existing site which has lain unused for many years.

“We’re not just building new homes but creating a thriving neighbourhood which will enhance the community and also create new open spaces for the public.”

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

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.  Plans include incorporating some of the existing building into the new development if structurally possible.”

The proposal was given approval by Northumberland County Council’s planning committee in March following public consultation – the feedback from which was used to inform the design of the scheme.