Housing to replace ex home for nurses
‘Falling down’ building to be demolished
AN historic former nurses’ home is to be demolished to make way for new housing, after councillors agreed it was ‘falling down anyway’.
Planners have given the go ahead for 27 ‘high quality’ new homes on the site of the long-vacant building at Cheadle Royal Hospital, in Wilmslow Road, Heald Green.
They also gave special permission to knock down the former nurses’ home, which enjoys listed status due to its setting in the grounds of the Grade II listed hospital.
The new development – dubbed ‘The Royal Quarter’ – will feature a mix of three, four and five-bedroom properties, including townhouses and detached and semidetached homes.
A new vehicle entrance will be created from nearby St Ann’s Hospice, while each home has two parking spaces. The proposals, from developer AM7 Group , went before Stockport Council’s planning committee.
Cllr Brian Bagnall said the authority had been ‘very good’ at maintaining the borough’s history and heritage over the years – particularly in the case of listed buildings. But he said councillors had to take a realistic approach, given the condition of the nursing home, which has become a target for anti-social behaviour over recent years.
“The stark reality is that this building is falling down anyway,” he said. “There’s not much left to preserve.
“For those that were not on the site visit, it ain’t got a roof, it’s literally falling apart.
“So, I do think permission should be granted and I think we should record what’s there for posterity.”
He continued: “This brings back a section of land that is currently inaccessible to the public. They can’t use it, they can’t see it because it’s fenced off and I think it will bring a part of Heald Green back into use in a way I think the original builders intended it to be.”
His view was echoed by Cllr Roy Driver.
“It’s a pity that we have not had a planning application that could incorporate the building in some kind of renovation and maintain the building,” he said.
“But clearly from what we have seen on site, it’s too far gone for any renovation or restoration, so unfortunately demolition of the building has got to happen.”
Cllr Driver also shared Cllr Bagnall’s concerns over the lack of affordable housing proposed for the site. While he accepted affordable housing had been ‘independently assessed’ as not financially viable for the scheme, he said it was much needed across the borough.
“Every application we get, there’s hardly any affordable housing apart from the town centre,” he said.
“We do need affordable housing in places like Heald Green, Cheadle and Marple, because people living there don’t necessarily have the income to buy properties but they want to live in the area where they have grown up, not simply, say, move to Manchester or the town centre.”
The plans were unanimously agreed by the committee, which also asked for any finds of historical or architectural interest to be recorded and preserved if possible.
Stockport Council planning committee met on the evening of Thursday. March 23.