Managed by West London Mental Health NHS Trust (WLMHT), Broadmoor is a high security psychiatric hospital on the edge of Crowthorne.
The original 19th century buildings are now unfit for use as modern hospital and a new hospital, scheduled to open in 2019, is being constructed to the side of the current buildings.
Broadmoor is an important local employer and CVAG is supportive of the overall concept of redevelopment. We are pleased to participate in the local stakeholders group organised by the redevelopment committee.
The construction traffic has been using a new road, called Joshua Jebb Way, that comes in from the Foresters Way (Crowthorne by-pass), on the other side of the site. This will then become the main access to the new hospital for staff, patients and deliveries.
Copyright The Francis Frith Collection
The original building and surrounding gardens are listed as Grade II assets of national importance, and cannot be demolished without permission. In 2011 The Victorian Society included Broadmoor in its list of top 10 endangered buildings in the whole of the UK. Since it is close to the boundary of the Special Protection Area (SPA)*, the building cannot be converted into residential accommodation. The trust will therefore be looking for someone to take it on for some alternative purpose, such as a Hotel or spa. It is an imposing building set on a hill top with magnificent views over Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire, so presents an interesting opportunity for the right buyer.
The Trust is known to favour building new houses in the walled garden to raise funds. This is controversial and is opposed by CVAG, the Victorian Society and by English Heritage. This is a Grade II registered landscape and the walled garden is an integral part of the landscape. National planning rules are that building within the grounds of a listed building is not permitted unless it can be demonstrated that there is an overriding benefit to the community which outweighs the damage caused. Since the Hospital itself is already under construction and is not dependent on finance from housing in the walled garden, it remains to be seen what mitigating benefit will be proposed by the trust, or whether they will drop that part of the plan.
* Thames Basin Special Protection Area: current regulations ensure that any land within a 400 metre buffer zone, can not be developed. More on EU designated SPAs on the Biodiversity page.