Plans lodged for £100 million development of Sunnyside Hospital

Dave Stewart, director of Sunnyside Estate Ltd and Jamie Pert and Craig Bruce, joint managing directors of Pert Bruce Construction, pictured at Sunnyside Hospital.
Dave Stewart, director of Sunnyside Estate Ltd and Jamie Pert and Craig Bruce, joint managing directors of Pert Bruce Construction, pictured at Sunnyside Hospital.

Multimillion pound development plans for the former Sunnyside Royal Hospital have been lodged.

A planning-in-principle application for a mixed use vision on the 64-acre site of the old asylum in Hillside has been put forward.

The proposed housing, retail and commercial development, called Sunnyside Park, will include affordable, retirement and assisted-living housing in a mixture of apartments and family homes.

Edinburgh-based FM Group along with Montrose-based Pert Bruce Construction Ltd. jointly purchased the hospital site from NHS Tayside last year in a seven figure deal.

The development is being brought forward by Sunnyside Estate Ltd, a joint venture between the two companies.

Sunnyside Estate Ltd will be investing £100 million in the development, which it says will stimulate the local economy and create local jobs within the construction industry, and the wider supply chain.

Sunnyside Estate added that the transformation of the site will ensure that it, once again, becomes an attractive and prominent feature within the Hillside and Montrose communities.

The Principle Class B and C heritage buildings will be preserved and sensitively incorporated into the overall development.

David Stewart, director of Sunnyside Estate, said: “Our vision is for a distinctive development which enhances and benefits the local area, sustaining and creating local jobs, has been foremost in our thinking for Sunnyside.

“We have been working closely with the local community and Angus Council to propose a masterplan design that is a benefit for the area, to maintain the history and heritage of the former hospital, and the natural environment along with consideration to both existing and new communities.

“Sunnyside Park represents an idyllic setting, history and a uniqueness seldom found in other sites and we are very excited about its potential.

“We are passionate about building quality developments that preserve our country’s heritage, employing the best of modern day construction techniques, and to deliver projects and communities of which we can be proud.

“Our plans generated considerable excitement locally and, following a constructive public consultation, we are now lodging our planning application outlining our vision for Sunnyside.”

Sunnyside Royal Hospital at Hillside, by Montrose, closed its doors in December 2011 after serving as a mental health facility for 153 years in the area.

The Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary was founded by Susan Carnegie of Charleton in 1781 and was the first asylum in Scotland.

It was based on Montrose Links and by 1853 the number of residents had surpassed the 200 mark.

The expanding patient numbers led to a new improved asylum being built at Sunnyside Farm, Hillside.

It was designed by William Moffat in 1857 and was operational by 1858.

With the introduction of the NHS, the mental health unit’s name was changed from the Royal Asylum of Montrose to the Royal Mental Hospital of Montrose and in 1962 it became Sunnyside Royal Hospital.

Noteworthy patients include the father of Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a talented artist, and outsider artist Adam Christie, from Shetland, who made stone sculptures while he was at Sunnyside using basic tools.