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Aerial view of Severalls Hospital site The Severalls Hospital site is a former mental health hospital owned by English Partnerships and North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

The site represents a prime residential development opportunity for two reasons.  Firstly, it occupies a prime location adjacent to both the A12 and the new Northern Approaches Road. The latter offers the prospect of excellent public transport both to the Colchester North station and to the town centre beyond. 

Secondly, the Severalls Hospital site offers buildings of a particular character in a prime woodland setting.


Built between 1910 and 1913, Severalls is a fine example of an echelon-plan design. Each block was designed to meet the requirements of different types of patient care where high quality decoration and attractive grounds represented a radical departure from the austere barrack-like appearance of older institutions.

Key buildings include the administrative building and water tower, but its significance rests in its group value and landscape setting.

Development plan

The current outline planning application for the site envisages the following:

  • Retention of those existing hospital buildings considered to be most significant either in terms of visual amenity or historic/architectural terms
  • Retention of the majority of trees and associated landscaping
  • Green link at Tower Lane and enhancement of public footpath 69
  • Improvement to and provision of pedestrian and cycle routes
  • Internal roads
  • Improved public transport provision
  • Reserved sites for primary school site and community centre
  • Provision of allotments
  • Mixed uses to potentially include local retail outlet, medical facilities, police station, office/live work units
  • Potential continued health related uses within Secretary of Health 'retained land'
  • Open squares/public spaces

This development is now in the process of construction.