Case study

Using public land to build hundreds of homes at Lancaster Moor

A former psychiatric hospital in Lancashire is being turned into a new community after the Homes and Communities Agency started work to prepare the site for redevelopment.


A derelict former psychiatric hospital in Lancashire is now being turned into a new community after the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) started work to prepare the site for redevelopment. This page will help housebuilders understand what sort of organisations the HCA works with in disposing of land.

Lancaster Moor hospital opened in 1816 as Lancaster’s first county asylum. The hospital was expanded in stages throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Annexe, a large building designed by Arnold Kershaw, was completed in 1883. At one point the hospital held up to 3,200 patients, but it eventually fell into a state of disrepair and was closed in 1999.

The site, a prominent local landmark off the M6 motorway, stood derelict until the HCA, working closely with Lancaster city council and English Heritage, stepped in to prepare the site for redevelopment and bring the site back into use.

This included essential demolition of the outbuildings, asbestos removal and dry rot treatment. These works were completed in March 2013 and have safeguarded the future of the important buildings on the site.

The HCA appointed Story Homes and PJ Livesey as preferred developers to restore the historic Grade II listed building and provide much-needed new homes. The 15.76 hectare site already has outline planning permission for up to 440 homes.

Following the opening of a show home on the site, HCA Head of Area for Lancashire and Cumbria, Marie Hodgson, said:

Lancaster Moor is a great scheme in a superb location. Over the last few years, we’ve arrested its decline and prepared it for redevelopment. The old buildings are now being restored and we’re creating hundreds of much-needed homes across the site.

Quick facts

  • The HCA is bringing this 15.76 hectare publicly-owned site forward to speed up the construction of up to 440 new homes
  • The former hospital is a Grade II listed building
  • The HCA has invested £3.45 million to accelerate the development of the scheme and release £67.8 million private sector investment

Get updates from the Story Homes blog

New Histories blog: How Lancaster county lunatic asylum changed the face of treatment

Internal shots of the derelict buildings at Lancaster Moor can be seen on this blog

Published 4 September 2014