HCA selects housebuilder for former Runwell Hospital site

Housebuilder Countryside Properties has won the job to redevelop a 200 acre plot in Rettendon, Essex on the site of the former Runwell Hospital.

The housebuilder was selected by the Homes and Communities Agency for the £200m scheme, which will see the firm build 575 homes and 2,800 sq m of offices, retail and community space as well as a local pub and primary school.

Countryside said in a statement its plans include converting the site’s Grade II listed chapel into a new community facility plus significant improvements to the nearby A132 and Runwell Sports & Social Club. Countryside has exchanged contracts with the HCA on the deal and is progressing a reserved matters application for the first phase with a view to getting on site in late 2014.

Mike Goulding, senior area manager at the HCA for Essex and Kent, said he was “pleased” Countryside is on board to push the development forward. “Runwell is a really good example of how government land can be used for local benefit.  The houses that will be built here and the related roads and community facilities will really benefit the local area and turn what was a disused hospital into an integral part of the local community,” he said.

Graham Cherry, chief executive of Countryside, (pictured) said: “This agreement is a really exciting new opportunity in our Essex heartland.  We are looking forward to creating a new neighbourhood with a range of facilities.  We are confident it will be an outstanding place to live and work.”