Flats bid for site of former Boots lab where scientists made ibuprofen discovery
BUILDING HAS ALSO BEEN A CHURCH AND NURSERY
A FORMER church with a rich history could soon be demolished to create new apartments.
The Wishing Well nursery building, between Oakfields Road and Rutland Road in Lady Bay, was where Ibuprofen was first worked on, with the building’s owner claiming mustard gas was also tested at the site during the First World War.
Following the closure of the nursery, there are now plans to convert the building, which was originally built as a Methodist church, into nine apartments.
A existing large commercial property, which at one point had also been used as a windows factory, would be demolished to make way for the new flats.
The Wishing Well nursery had been running for more than 20 years and closed in December 2021. The owner of the building, Mark Buckingham, explained his and his partner’s part in the former church’s history.
The 56-year-old said: “We bought it in 1997, and, although I thought it would last 10 years or so, me and my wife ran the nursery there for 24-and-a-half years. We had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories there, but we are going into retirement. It was an old windows factory when we bought it, but it has a lot of history.
“For a long time it was a lab for Boots. It was built as a Methodist chapel, but then in 1908 it was bought by Jesse Boot. Ibuprofen was discovered in the labs that they had there. And then they had tested mustard gas for the war effort in the First World War.”
According to planning documents, the building size would be significantly reduced and its footprint decreased by 27 per cent. Mr Buckingham said he hoped the plans would be seen as reasonable by neighbours, highlighting the benefits of an underground car park and number of apartments. “It is too big for a lot of things that we could have done with it,” he said.
“Down here it is a nightmare for parking so we’re putting in underground parking with enough spaces for people. You could put more apartments in there, but we didn’t want to overdo it. The look of it is probably more modern than I expected, but it will look good. I don’t know anyone that has any problem with it that I’ve spoken to.”
A total of 13 parking spaces would be provided underneath the new apartment block.
Local residents were generally supportive of the plan, expressing the sentiment that the building could not be left vacant.
Jeremy French, 62, who lives on Oakfields Road, said: “The only concern I would have would be the parking with all the football traffic we get here as well.
“But it seems like that has been considered, so I’ve got no objections. It does not do anyone any good if it is left empty. I would rather it be used than go derelict, it had been used for the community for quite a while.” Altaf Mir, 79, who lives opposite the property in Rutland Road, said: “I am surprised they want to do that in this area. It is a good thing that they have planned the parking out because it is very narrow on the roads here. This is a very nice area so there will be demand for them.” Another Rutland Road resident, who did not want to be named, said: “Parking used to be an issue but it’s not too bad now, so I don’t really have any objections. The only thing for me would be if the construction takes a while, then you get that traffic and also the noise.
“But, as long as it is not a monstrosity once it is built, then I don’t mind too much.”
The application is currently pending consideration by Rushcliffe Borough Council.
So long as it’s not a monstrosity once it is built, then I don’t mind too much.
Rutland Road resident