Priory Hall

Bidwells was instructed by Essex County Council to secure outline planning permission for residential development on the site of a former school and adult education centre at Priory Hall, Halstead.

Hallmark Developments then purchased the site from the County Council and retained Bidwells to secure full planning permission for a retirement village and care home.

The team was responsible for the preparation of a master plan which delivered a viable scheme sympathetic to the setting of the school building, protected trees and the need to incorporate a sustainable drainage system to reduce flood risk. The resultant scheme was complemented by the Borough Council when it granted planning approval.

The team was subsequently retained to develop more detailed design elements, such as thorough Landscape Strategy, with design coding for the hard landscape areas.

What we did

  • Secured outline planning permission for residential redevelopment of the former school site on behalf of Essex County Council, prior to its sale to Hallmark Developments


  • Demonstrated that there was no demand for the school building to be allocated for community uses, as per the Local Plan


  • Obtained full permission for 85 retirement cottages and apartments, a 59-bed care home and communal facilities located in the former school building


  • Provided the site layout and landscape design input for the scheme

  • Prepared design solutions that responded to the unique character of the site



  • The retirement village has now been constructed
  • It provides high quality, specialist accommodation for the over 55s, for which there is increasingly strong demand










Landscape Strategy Open space

sensory garden character area

 woodland character area

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