Cliveden Hospital -
An Expression Of Interest
The Estate is set in the London greenbelt north of the village
of Taplow. It is in a rural location surrounded by large towns
but is just 14 miles from Heathrow airport. The locality is
well served by communication lines although protected by an
extensive area of greenbelt. The locality is a designated
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is inevitably subject
to strong development pressures.
The National Trust seeks the highest financial return while
having full regard to their social and environmental responsibilities.
The purpose of the selection process is to identify the proposal
that best matches these objectives and it is the Trust's aim
that a preferred bidder will be identified by the New Year.
Cliveden has been home to a Prince of Wales, three Dukes,
an Earl, three Viscounts and a Baronet. It reflects the history
of six families and the work of ten different architects.
The present house, built in 1851 for the Duke of Sutherland,
was bought in 1893 by the wealthy American, William Waldorf
Astor. In 1906 he presented Cliveden to his son Waldorf and
daughter-in-law Nancy as a wedding gift.
Nancy, Lady Astor, was a great hostess who placed Cliveden
at the very centre of British society. In 1919 she became
the first woman MP to take a seat in the House of Commons.
Lord Astor was very interested in conservation and in 1942
Cliveden became one of the first great country houses to be
given to the National Trust.
The Astor family remained at Cliveden until 1966, the house
then became the European base for the American Stanford University.
In 1985 the house was restored and leased as a luxury hotel.
Income from leases, events, visitors and National Trust members
contribute towards the restoration and conversion of the fine
gardens, house and other estate buildings. However, an estate
of the extent and importance of Cliveden requires a substantial
endowment to provide sufficient income to meet the cost of
major repairs and capital works. It was the intention of the
Astors that the hospital site should provide the greater part
of this endowment.
The hospital was built by the Astors and run by the Canadian
Red Cross during both World Wars, and subsequently by the
National Health Service. This provided valuable income to
the National Trust until the hospital's closure in 1986. Now
the hospital buildings are derelict and the Trust seeks to
develop sensitively the site in order to realise the endowment
intended by the donor family.
The receipts from the development will be used wholly at Cliveden
to support the long term aims and objectives of the Trust
for the estate.
The National Trust is the country's foremost conservation
charity protecting areas of natural beauty or of historic
interest for the nation to enjoy. These properties are held
in perpetuity ensuring their future is secure. In seeking
to develop the hospital site the Trust aims to realise a significant
income from the site whilst demonstrating sensitivity towards
a range of environmental and social issues. To achieve this
balance, the National Trust has set out its objectives for
a) To realise the optimum financial return to the Cliveden
b) To enhance the site's contribution to the significance
and qualities of the estate and its environs
c) To meet local needs
d) To embrace principles of sustainable development by satisfying
appropriate environmental, aesthetic, social and economic
e) To present a positive image for the estate and the Trust
regionally and locally, and create opportunities for interaction
between the estate and the local community.
Due to the
rare opportunity this site provides it is anticipated great
interest will be generated and necessarily therefore strict
guidelines for expressions of interest have to be set. These
guidelines are as follows:
a) Expressions of interest should be limited to no greater
than ten pages of A4 including any attachments. A detailed
submission is positively discouraged at this stage. A shorter
expression of interest will not necessarily compromise your
b) This site is sensitive in many terms including from the
point of view of the Local Planning Authority who are aware
the Trust is seeking an expression of interest. The Planning
statement set out on the previous page is considered sufficient
for this initial expression of interest and you are requested
not to contact the Local Planning Authority as they will be
unable to add to this statement.
c) The site is situated behind walling and is difficult to
access. Also in preparation for development some works will
be undertaken on the site rendering it dangerous. Access is
not considered necessary and you are requested not to visit
the site at this stage. At a later stage an open viewing day
will be held for those who are subsequently contacted.
The National Health Service vacated the site in 1987. Since
that time a series of proposals have come to nothing. The
South Bucks Local Plan, which was approved in March 1999,
in Policy GB16 identifies the site as a 'major developed site
in the Green Belt' and permits redevelopment for a 'use appropriate
to the surroundings'.
The development should:
a) have a lesser footprint than the existing development
b) be no greater in height than the current buildings
c) incorporate substantial landscaping
d) conform with other policies
The existing planning consents allow for some 135 new homes,
and other facilities, such as a medical centre, have been
considered appropriate in the past.
A year ago URBED were appointed to draw up a master plan which
the National Trust could approve before selecting a new development
partner. The masterplan drew on a visioning event with a range
of possible developers and community interests, as well as
on latest government policy for housing and planning, research
into possible models, and analysis of the opportunities and
constraints. As a consequence the National Trust is committed
to a development of up to 200 units at a higher density, with
a more sustainable design than was envisaged previously. The
current plan does not envisage an age restriction on occupancy.
South Bucks are keen to see the site developed and provided
the quality is right they will be sympathetic to new approaches
such as those indicated above, working with the chosen developer
to produce an exemplary scheme. The National Trust wishes
to secure a new planning consent based on the URBED masterplan
and to see development underway in 2002.
National Trust wishes to draw on the ideas, views and approaches
of all those who have an interest in this development. Accordingly
a three-stage selection process is envisaged seeking to identify
the developing partner that is best suited to the site.
Local consultation indicated the appropriateness of:
a) A socially mixed development not dominated by any one group
(even the elderly) and including families
b) A scheme that is distinctive in design and possibly one
of higher density. This means that more of the site could
c) The scheme should incline towards a village type development
with appropriate community facilities
d) Any scheme should be sustainable in terms of its use of
materials and resources.
Trust wishes to invite interested parties (developers, funders,
architects and those in a specialist field - for example;
sustainability, water recycling, energy conservation - and
others) to respond by the 6th August 2001 with an expression
of interest only, which should reflect as a minimum the following
a) Evidence of community commitment
b) A record of involvement in other similar projects
c) Resources available
e) Examples of partnering
h) Social inclusion
i) Quality in design and construction.
Following receipt of the initial expressions of interest,
a number (10-30) of parties will be notified in early August
that the National Trust is interested in their proposals.
of these parties will be made aware of other participants
in order to encourage consortia submissions at the final stage
and as a way of promoting the best ideas. It is anticipated
that during August, King Sturge will look into the background
of the shortlisted expressions of interest and may wish to
visit example developments cited in the expression of interest.
During September a report will be submitted to the National
Trust for the purpose of selecting a small number of developers/consortia
who will be asked to provide a detailed submission by the
26th November 2001.
developer/consortium will be notified during September and
will be provided with an information pack and full brief.
The brief will include those matters that should be addressed
as part of the final submission.
list below shows the Trust's initial expectations. You should
assume the list will expand as ideas are absorbed from the
expressions of interest:
a) A detailed design covering floor plans, elevations, hard
and soft landscaping.
b) Energy conservation proposals
c) Detailed sustainability proposals
d) Areas where innovation has been adopted.
e) Partnering proposals.
f) Financial appraisal
g) Preferred legal framework.
of the final proposals will be considered during December
and early January anticipating an announcement no later than
January 2002 of the preferred partner, who will acquire a
long leasehold interest.
6th August 2001
receipt of expressions of interest.
of selected list of possible partners.
notification to shortlisted parties for detailed proposal.
receipt of detailed proposals.
12th December 2001
consideration of detailed proposals.
December 2001/January 2002
notification of preferred partner.