Request (and refusal) to visit Severalls site for research and photographs, March 2009

In March 2009 I was considering writing a book on Severalls, so I contacted the Government (the land was still State owned at the time) and asked for permission to visit the site to take some photos:


My name is Ritchie Hicks and I am currently writing a book on
Severalls mental hospital, Colchester.

I understand that you now own the site of the old hospital and I am
contacting you to see if I could arrange to take some photographs of the old
buildings, with your permission, as this would be valuable for my research.
I understand that the buildings are generally off limits and I do not wish
to trespass.

Could you please let me know if this would be possible?

Ritchie Hicks.

Sadly, the answer was ‘no’. I’ve therefore hard to rely on Urban Explorers for images.

Homes and Communities Agency <>    25 March 2009 at 15:41
To: Ritchie Hicks

Dear Mr Hicks,

Thank you for your recent enquiry to the Homes and Communities Agency received on 27/02/2009, reference number 27281

On advice taken from the Project Manager for the site and our Legal Services, the Homes and Communities Agency’s view is that we do not allow members of the public to enter sites. The sites can and often do contain asbestos and other contaminants and therefore the Health and Safety implications would be too great.

Should you require more information, please contact us:

Arpley House
110 Birchwood Boulevard


110 Buckingham Palace Road

Tel: 0300 1234 500
Fax: 020 7730 9162


Homes and Communities Agency


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