Hotel apartments plan
ONE of Middleton’s most historically important buildings could be transformed into apartments.
The former White House Hotel on Rochdale Road - known as ‘Hillcrest’ - was designed and built in the late 19th century by internationally renowned architect Edgar Wood.
It included design elements found in some of the earliest Art Nouveau houses in the world but has since ‘fallen into a state of disrepair’.
The Grade II-listed building is currently ‘vacant and uninhabitable’ and neighbours say it has been targeted by vandalism, anti-social behaviour and in the past used to grow cannabis.
Plans have been submitted to Rochdale council by GTK Installations Ltd to convert the building into five apartments.
A planning statement said: “The house is in a poor condition, with a series of unsympathetic alterations and ‘repairs’ carried out either to enable its past use as a hotel or in response to struc- tural movement or other deterioration.
“It is unlikely that there would be a market for such a large single family dwelling in this location and the property lends itself to conversion into apartments.
“The aims of the development are to bring the building’s exterior back to a reasonable state of repair in keeping with the appearance and condition of the neighbouring Edgar Wood designed properties whilst also creating new dwellings.
“This will ensure the building will be preserved for the future and contribute to the current housing requirements of the area.
“Without development and investment at this stage the property will only deteriorate further, leading to a possible loss of one of the area’s important historical buildings.”
The scheme has been backed by a neighbouring property owner, who said it would be ‘an appropriate and much needed development for this area and would fit in well with adjoining listed properties’.
In a supporting letter to the council, they said: “We would welcome a genuine development of this building. We can only hope this development is carried out fairly quickly, as since we rebuilt our own property and moved back in nearly 20 years ago we have had to endure much vandalism and disturbance, including a cannabis farm in this building.”
A decision will be made by Rochdale council planning officers in the next few months.
The former White House Hotel (above), and (right) the dilapidated interior