In the Media

Fancy a stay at Broadmoor?

PUBLISHED April 6, 2012

West London Mental Health NHS Trust hopes to interest a developer to convert the old Grade II Victorian buildings at Crowthorne, Berks.

Officials said the plans would help fund a £254million redevelopment of the remaining facilities at the hospital.

The homes and hotel rooms would be just a few hundred metres away from the new psychiatric unit but would be shielded by trees outside the high security perimeter.

Last month Bracknell Forest Council approved plans for an upgrade of the hospital, which will have 10 new wards, providing accommodation for 210 patients.

Construction of the new building in the high security facility is expected to start in the autumn of 2013. It is expected to open to patients in late 2016.

The Victorian Society, which originally had opposed the plans, now supports the trust's decision after visiting the site in January.

Ian Dungavell, director of the society, told the BBC that he was keen to protect the hospital's Grade II Victorian buildings, designed by prison architect Joshua Jebb.

Last month after the plans were given council approval, Vickie Holcroft, programme director for the Broadmoor redevelopment, said officials were delighted.

"We're delighted with the Council's decision to give this extremely important project the go ahead," she said.

"I hope the council's backing goes some way in helping the Trust achieve its goals and continuing with the often difficult, but necessary work of rehabilitation of these severely, mentally ill patients."

In 2003 the ageing Victorian buildings were declared "unfit for purpose" by the Commission For Healthcare Improvement.

Some of the country's most notorious killers and sex offenders have been treated within the hospital. The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is detained at Broadmoor.

The trust said it was "confident" a buyer could be found.