Leybourne Grange Mental Hospital

Demolition project background

DDS were commissioned by Taylor Wimpey to undertake a £2.4million project completing the demolition and site clearance of the former Leybourne Grange Mental Health Hospital near Maidstone, Kent.

The Hospital was in operation from 1936 – 1996 and housed 1200 patients. The original site spans across 270 acres.


  • Principal Contractor throughout the works, adhering to all legislation and codes of practice associated with the position.
  • Undertake and coordinate the disconnection of all statutory utility disconnections and diversions.
  • Management of the ecology mitigation
  • Undertake a large scale asbestos removal phase (£1.1million) from the buildings and service pipes across the site.
  • Soft Strip buildings of all fixtures, fittings and combustible materials.
  • Complete demolition of numerous hospital buildings of traditional masonry construction, including a 25m high chimney.
  • Clear site of all demolition arisings.

Achievements & Successes

  • The asbestos pipe lagging had high concentrations of amphibole asbestos and was liable to release fibres after minimal disturbance. As such, the asbestos removal works required encapsulation within polythene tents, bespoke to the individual area’s.
  • The works had to be sequences around ecology migration seasons, and as such complex phasing was introduced over a two year period.
  • Such a high profile scheme was intended by the client to be a leader in EcoHomes standards, and was designed to achieve an “Excellent” rating on completion. DDS has to work with our clients throughout works to assist them in achieving this goal.
  • The site has a former manor house which had been converted into a special needs school. Works had to be completed with the site remaining live throughout out works. This imposed additional logistical, health & safety and environmental challenges which DDS overcame with no complaints from the client of the neighbouring school.
  • DDS maximised the site recycling rate by reclaiming high volumes of architectural salvage (i.e. bricks, tiles etc) which were processed and resold into the industry via our reclamation yard.