The 200-acre site to be transformed is the former Runwell Hospital, between Battlesbridge and Rettendon in Essex.
The development, for the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), is expected to result in up to 575 new homes, together with up to 2,800 square metres of non-residential space including offices, shops, community centre and a pub. There will also be land for a primary school.
The HCA has prepared the site and achieved outline planning consent to attract developers.
Countryside Properties’ vision for Runwell is to create a new neighbourhood in a parkland setting.
The outline consent also includes converting the Grade II listed chapel into new community facilities, as well as improvements to the nearby A132 and to Runwell Sports & Social Club.
Countryside Properties has exchanged contracts with the HCA and is progressing a reserved matters application for the first phase. It is anticipated the development could start being built out in late 2014/early 2015. The site’s gross development value is estimated at £200m.
Countryside Properties chief executive Graham Cherry said: “This agreement continues our longstanding relationship with HCA and is a really exciting new opportunity in our Essex heartland. Our design solution works with and complements the existing mature landscape. 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.”
HCA senior area manager Mike Goulding said: “I’m very pleased we have reached this point and that Countryside Properties is on board to push this development forward.”
He added: “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.”