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Here's the text from King Sturge's brochure of July 2001. We'd have put the actual thing up here as an acrobat document, but it's almost a megabyte in size so this way it's a bit easier on everyone. Oh, and by the way - if you were thinking of putting in a proposal yourself - a gigantic pyramid perhaps - you're too late apparently...

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 the development:

a) To realise the optimum financial return to the Cliveden Estate

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 criteria.

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 position.

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.

The 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 remain open

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.

The 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 matters:

a) Evidence of community commitment

b) A record of involvement in other similar projects

c) Resources available

d) Vision

e) Examples of partnering

f) Innovation

g) Sustainability

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.

Each 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.

Each 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.

The 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.

Each 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.

Key dates

6th August 2001

receipt of expressions of interest.

August 2001
examination of selected list of possible partners.
September 2001
notification to shortlisted parties for detailed proposal.
26th November 2001
receipt of detailed proposals.

12th December 2001

consideration of detailed proposals.

December 2001/January 2002
notification of preferred partner.



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