Former hospital site to become 120 new homes

The former Essex County Hospital site is awaiting development

The former Essex County Hospital site is awaiting development - Credit: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

Plans to transform a former hospital site into 120 homes have taken an important step forward - and work is set to start in the spring.

A land transfer agreement has been given the green light for the scheme to create 70 new homes through the restoration of the Grade II listed main Essex County Hospital in Colchester plus a further 50 new homes on the surrounding land.

Following a decision at cabinet on December 21, Essex County Council is now set to transfer the parcel of land it owns to its arms length housing development company, Essex Housing, which will take over the project.

The remaining two parcels of land owned by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust will be purchased before February 2023 before being transferred to Essex Housing.

It is anticipated that Phase 1 construction will start in April 2022, phase 2 in January 2023 and phase 3 in November 2023.

The decision marks the latest chapter in Essex Housing’s development programme with other schemes including sites in Colchester, Maldon, and Tendring.

The current Essex Housing programme comprises 919 properties, of which 48% are specialist or affordable.

Most Read

However, only four homes at the county hospital site will be affordable.

Councillor Lesley Wagland, cabinet member for economic renewal, infrastructure and planning at Essex County Council, said issues around the cost of decontaminating the land has constrained the number of affordable homes.

She said: “There are four affordable units proposed here but overall about half of what Essex Housing produces is in the social housing or independent living category. And I really would defy anybody to come up with that sort of record at that scale on the development arms that we see elsewhere.”

Archaeological excavations of the Essex County Hospital has uncovered a range of interesting Roman finds including up to 12 Roman pottery kilns, a mysterious small square building with foundations about a metre across, and burials including the skeletal remains of a young woman buried face down in a shallow grave with the remains of a very young baby nearby.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter