The relocation of chronic psychiatric patients in the community may be of unexpected benefit to town planners. Many Victorian mental hospitals, largely redundant in terms of medical use, are high quality buildings – some are listed or otherwise of architectural merit – and they are often set in mature landscaped grounds. Architect John Burrell has developed the idea of using former psychiatric hospital sites on the edges of cities as a basis for establishing a new urban core to outer suburban areas. His plans for the Woodford Green site won him the top prize in a national competition ‘Tomorrow's New Communities’, which was organised earlier this year by the Town and Country Planning Association and the Joseph Rowntree Trust, with the backing of the Prince of Wales.
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