Sue Ryder Secures Consent for  Peterborough Hospice at Grade 1 Listed Site

Sue Ryder Secures Consent for Peterborough Hospice at Grade 1 Listed Site

Working on behalf of national charity, Sue Ryder, the Newcastle-based practice of Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall (JDDK) Ltd has successfully gained planning permission to create a new 20 bedroom patient facility within the grounds of Thorpe Hall, a Grade I listed country house set within a Grade II listed landscape on the western edge of Peterborough.

Thorpe Hall was originally constructed between 1653 and 1656 for the Commonwealth’s Lord Chief Justice, Oliver St John, and is now recognised as one of the finest buildings in the East of England with both historical and architectural uniqueness. The Hall had previously been used as a maternity hospital before the charity purchased the property in 1986 to provide care for people with active, progressive illness including complex neurological conditions. Sue Ryder is now one of the largest specialist palliative care providers in the country offering some 3 million hours of care every year.

JDDK Director Ian Clarke, who leads the design team commented, “This is certainly the most sensitive setting in which I have been asked to work, in over 25 years working with the hospice movement. Despite the uniqueness of the setting and the huge emotional connections for local people and staff, the existing setting of the in-patient wards within the Listed interior of the Hall has proved progressively mis-matched with the charity’s forward-looking care requirements and the architectural sensitivity of the building fabric.

“Our brief from Sue Ryder was to produce proposals which would enable the relocation on-site of the existing 20 bed in-patient wards from the Hall interior to a new build facility in very close proximity, so that the amenities and supporting accommodation within the Hall and its grounds could be retained in use, whilst providing a much improved care environment for patients, relatives and staff.”

Following extensive discussion with English Heritage and Peterborough City Council the scheme involves the redevelopment of a redundant walled garden adjacent to the Hall, to include a new in-patient unit housing 20 single en-suite bedrooms, and a range of new fully accessible  garden spaces for patients and relatives, together with  refurbishment of the Listed service wing of the Hall to provide enhanced day-care facilities and supporting accommodation.

In response to the challenges dictated by the setting, the design proposals are very low impact in many respects beyond the visual. They include a timber structural  frame, cedar shingle wall cladding, sedum roof covering, very high levels of thermal insulation together with use of a ground source heat pump. Despite the grandeur of the setting, the combined leverage of a very challenging and restricted site, together with high client aspirations for quality of care environment has predicated a deceptively simple building which sets its sights far above its very modest budget.

Stephen Brimfield, Sue Ryder’s Director of Property, added: “The Sue Ryder team are delighted that we have achieved a modern and fit-for-purpose solution in co-operation with English Heritage and Peterborough City Council, which enables us to continue our work in this much-needed and much-loved facility.

“Our efforts now need to focus on fundraising in order to fully realise our ambitions to build this new amenity.”

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