The next stage of developing Whittingham Mental Asylum has begun as the bulldozers set in.
Plans to build 650 homes on the site were given the green light and the Homes and Communities Agency have started to bring down some of the buildings.
The development of the site is expected to take between 10 to 12 years.
Funding for the development is coming as part of the City Deal, which will see improvements to the road network across the north of the city.
The only buildings retained on the current Whittingham site are the listed church, sports club and five standalone character buildings known as the villas.
Whittingham closed in the 1990s and the site and buildings were bought by the HCA in 2005.
It had grown to become one of the largest mental health institutions in the country, housing up to 3,500 psychiatric patients.
As the site lay empty awaiting a planning decision it had become a mecca for urban explorer photographers who took photos of its decaying site.
Marie Hodgson, head of area for Lancashire and Cumbria at the HCA, said when plans were approved: “We’re using significant Government funding to unlock the hospital site, which will lead to hundreds of new homes being developed in the next few years.
“The redevelopment of the site will contribute towards the wider housing and economic goals of the City Deal through the delivery of crucial infrastructure that will benefit residents and workers and support the growth of the Preston local economy.”
The Lancashire Evening Post has a video of the bulldozer work beginning to remove some of the buildings.
The HCA are focusing on removing old slate tiles from the majority of the roofs on the site.
Local parish councils had objected to the plans, claiming the area is not ready to support such a big increase in population.
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