PJ Livesey is once again breathing life into the nation's past, with its sympathetic conversion of a former hospital on the outskirts of Delamere Forest. The noble, but abandoned husks of these historic hospital buildings have been saved from falling into further disrepair by a visionary development plan, which seeks to create a brand new community in one of the region's most sought-after beauty spots.
Set in 33 acres of private woodland, Kingsley Park is the latest redevelopment project to be taken on by the UK's leading developer of listed buildings, the PJ Livesey Group. Work is already underway on the redevelopment of the old hospital (also once known as Crossley Hospital East), including the transformation of the main hall and nursing home into luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. In addition, a number of period outbuildings - including the old pump house and hospital chapel - are being skilfully converted to create a number of semi-detached and detached properties within the boundaries of the estate. An exclusive, sympathetically designed 4-bedroom detached home will complete the range of accommodation available at this new landmark address.
Planning permission was granted for Kingsley Park earlier this year. The original Grade II listed buildings first opened their doors as a hospital in 1905, having been funded by Sir William Crossley, the owner of a large engineering company in Manchester. Crossley's investment was in direct response to a wave of tuberculosis occurring among his own workforce at a time when the disease was particularly prevalent among the urban poor. As it was known to be highly contagious, isolation was deemed essential and this site on the north westerly corner of Delamere Forest was identified as the perfect location for such a sanitorium.
The hospital functioned as a specialist TB centre and overflow facility for neighbouring over-crowded hospitals under the mid-1960s, when it became a care home for the elderly. In the early 1980s, it was used as a specialist psychiatric and recuperative hospital until the end of the decade when it was leased out privately and used as a boarding school. The school closed in 1991 and the building lay derelict until the summer of 2006 when PJ Livesey began its work.
The resulting collection of buildings and grounds are impressive, not only in terms of their scale, but also regarding the secluded and private nature of the estate. The sanatorium's south-facing aspect, set approximately 480 feet above sea level, boasts beautiful views of the adjoining Delamere Forest, the Cheshire Plains and distant Welsh and Peak District mountain ranges.
Sales manager Colette Gannon believes that Kingsley Park will provide homebuyers with a truly unique new living environment: "As with all PJ Livesey developments, the focal point is a historic building known to, and much loved by, local people. We take our responsibility to these listed buildings very seriously indeed and are totally committed to delivering a new, living community which will stand as a testament to British craftsmanship and attention to detail. A new, 21st century landmark, in effect.
"Delamere Forest is obviously a popular tourist attraction in the region - and these properties will provide the same spectacular views, open aspect and tranquil atmosphere right on the doorstep. We expect to receive record levels of enquiries and are already having to set up a dedicated database for early birds who want to ensure the pick of the plots."
Much of the infrastructure and architecture will remain largely unchanged at Kingsley Park, fusing with state-of-the-art interior layouts and designs to provide the very best in contemporary living space. The formal launch is expected in early 2007 and it is likely that viewings will be by appointment only. For further information, or to join the mailing list for Kingsley Park, please contact the on-site Sales Centre on 01928 740078 or call in and see our progress for yourselves (open Thursday to Monday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm).
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Press contact: Deborah Garritty/Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North