Published date: 29 March 2021

Consultation launched for new future of Bootham Park hospital site

A virtual public consultation is being launched on exciting plans to give the iconic Bootham Park Hospital site in York a sustainable new future as a new Retirement Community and preserve the fantastic heritage on the site.

The former hospital site is made up of a number of buildings, spanning almost 18 acres, 8 of which are Parkland.

The main building was originally commissioned in 1772 by the then Archbishop of York, who recruited architect John Carr to undertake its design. The hospital opened in 1777 and was latterly operated by the NHS. Bootham Hospital closed to patients in January 2018, following a review by Commissioners, with a new hospital subsequently developed on Haxby Road.  

The proposals being brought forward are for a new retirement community and will improve the accessibility and environment of the Parkland for everyone to enjoy.  The Parkland will see the historic boundary railings fully restored and new facilities added including woodland trails, picnic areas, sensory gardens, edible planting, as well as the potential for community events to be held on the Parkland.

ERL is an award-winning Retirement Village developer behind the plans to bring the site back to use after closure of the mental health facility in 2015. ERL own and operate three other care villages across the country including The Red House in Ripon. 

ERL’s vison is to create a new Retirement Community, ensure public access is secured and improved for the Parkland, whilst giving this key site a sustainable future.

The plans are for around 170 new retirement homes, including facilities such as a wellness centre, fruit and vegetable garden, a cinema room, a hobby room, games room, exercise studio, as well as a bistro which will be open to the public. ERL are inviting feedback on the plans from the local community.

Peter Martin, Development Manager, ERL said: “We are excited to be launching our plans for the sensitive redevelopment of a well-known landmark in York.

“We pride ourselves on developing quality retirement communities that will provide much needed retirement homes in York. This is a fantastic opportunity to sustainably bring this site back to life and we would encourage as many people as possible to visit the website and provide their comments on the plans.

“Our proposals have been heavily informed by the previous consultation with the community that has taken place on this site and the development brief that the Council published following this engagement activity.

“Our aim is to not only preserve the key heritage assets at Bootham Park but to also create a new community that will help to eradicate loneliness for our residents.”

David Elstob, Principal Transaction Manager for NHS Property Services, who has secured the sale of Bootham Park to ERL, said: “Our decision to work with ERL is based on a number of factors, not least finding a suitable, sustainable and viable future use for the site which best protects these historic buildings.

"It is also important that the local community benefits from these proposals and we are particularly pleased that public access through the site is being maintained and that sports pitches on the hospital field will also be accessible to local primary schools.”

The plans are available to view at which also includes a feedback form to provide comments.

The vision to give the site a new future will result in the conversion of key areas of heritage – including the main John Carr building – and replace newer additional buildings on the site with sympathetic new development, in line with the Council’s development proposals which were consulted on in 2019.