Plans have moved ahead to create a new housing development on the site of a former psychiatric hospital in York.
The Retreat York has appointed the PJ Livesey Group as preferred supplier to develop the Heslington Road site.
The 40-acre plot, which features the main building opened in 1796 by the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, closed to inpatients at the end of 2018.
Drone view of the estate
It was offered for sale by The Retreat in September last year as part of a wider reconfiguration of services which included the opening of a new children’s outpatient unit in Strensall.
The sale does not encompass all of the buildings in the Heslington Road estate, and The Retreat will continue to deliver services from Heslington Road as part of their adult psychological and therapy services.
PJ Livesey Group’s bid was selected following a competitive process and, subject to formal ratification by the Retreat’s Board of Trustees, the two parties will enter formal contract negotiations.
The initial proposal for the site is for residential development featuring a proportion of affordable housing and a number of initiatives to enhance public access to parts of the Retreat’s wider estate.
Chair of The Retreat’s trustees David Robson said: “We’re delighted to have made this important next step in the development of this historic site.
“During the selection process we were particularly impressed with PJ Livesey Group’s track record in developing similarly iconic buildings and their commitment to working with us to involve the local community in the development of the parts of our estate that will remain accessible for public use.
“Protecting the Quaker legacy of the site and providing facilities which benefit local people and our local communities has always been uppermost in our considerations.”
Based in Manchester the PJ Livesey Group has four decades experience refurbishing and converting some of the country’s most significant heritage buildings.
The group has previously converted the Terry’s Chocolate factory building in York into apartments. It is currently working on the site’s clock tower which will see new homes, as well as the iconic Terry’s clock brought back to full working order.
Managing director Peter Livesey: “The Heslington Road site is hugely important, both architecturally and socially and we are very proud to have been selected.
“We will bring all our expertise and passion to this site working with the Quakers, the community and heritage experts to secure its future.”
The group will now start a pre-planning application consultation process with City of York Council, Historic England, conservation groups, local residents and “other key stakeholders”.
“If matters progress well it is hoped that an application would be submitted in the first quarter of 2022.”
More on the Heslington Road Estate website.