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►CS02 Calderstones Hospital, Whalley

Development: 318 Residential properties
Year: 1999-2003
Clients: David Wilson Homes and George Wimpey
Development Value: £64 million (approximately)


Site History

Coopers were requested to undertake ground investigations of the derelict sections of Calderstones Hospital, Whalley, Lancashire.  Calderstones Hospital was established in 1915 as an ‘asylum’ to contain mentally unstable people, but had been utilised during World War 1 as the Queen Mary’s Military Hospital.  During the 1970’s the bed count for the hospital was in the order of 1,700.  This facility was reduced in size thereby releasing a substantial number of hospital buildings for redevelopment.  As the existing hospital was a medium to low security facility this institution was completely segregated from the proposed area for development.  The size of the site for development and landscaping was approximately 80 acres (33 hectares).

Ground Investigation and Consultation Responsibilities

Following demolition, challenges associated with the site development comprised poor demolition procedures (substructures left in situ and crushed strata wrongly graded), sewers in excess of 15m deep, swathes of ash and clinker, an on site pre-licensed landfill, basements, and off-site sewer investigations.  A small town-gas facility was noted in an area intended for public open space.  Coopers undertook further trial pits across the site to supplement the investigations previously undertaken prior to demolition.

The Foot and Mouth Outbreak (2001) occurred mid-way through the investigation of this site and hence all off site works within existing pasture land required bio-security control measures to be adopted.

Due to the problems associated with the demolition, Coopers were consulted extensively on behalf of the developer to address the deficiencies.  This work involved a watching brief once the problems were brought to light.  The scale of the problems were assessed through additional ground investigation and stockpile sampling, and mitigation measures proposed and instigated to rectify the issues presented.

Detailed knowledge of the location of the deep sewers was essential to allow bridging and other foundation solutions to be adopted within the proposed properties.


Coopers validated all garden areas for David Wilson Homes affected by ash and clinker. 

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