Ho­tel apart­ments plan

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHERSON

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

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