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Homes scheme cottage hospital faces demolition
3:10pm Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
RAMSBOTTOM Cottage Hospital could be demolished to pave the way for a new housing development — five years after it closed its doors.
Arley Homes North West Ltd has submitted a planning application to Bury Council to build a mixture of 13 four and five-bedroom houses at the site in Nuttall Lane.
The cottage hospital was built in 1898 and served the community for 110 years before shutting in 2008.
NHS Bury has agreed to a conditional sale of the 1.34 acre site.
But local councillor Ian Bevan is concerned there has been no consultation on the sale and that the hospital which, he says, is a part of Rambottom’s heritage, is now under threat of demolition.
Cllr Bevan said: “Back in 2008, Stephen Mills, who was then chief executive of Bury Primary Care Trust, said the hospital might be used as the site for a new health centre for Ramsbottom. This never materialised, but a promise was made by Mr Mills that NHS Bury would ‘continue to engage with patients, staff and stakeholders in Ramsbottom about the potential uses for the site’.”
The planning application is for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of 13 new houses with associated access, car parking and landscape arrangements.
A supporting planning statement prepared by HOW Planning, on behalf of Warrington-based Arley Homes North West, said: “The development will create a new access from Nuttall Lane with the existing entrances closed. This access will maximise visibility and traffic safety. Separate pedestrian routes will be provided into the site and extend to Nuttall Lane for the benefit of residents and the community.”
A decision on the planning application is expected to be made by mid-April.
There are no restrictions which prevent the Ramsbottom Cottage Hospital site from being used for housing. A covenant on the site specifies keeping one or more houses on the land or a cottage hospital. Proceeds from any sale will be invested in healthcare improvement.
A spokeswoman for NHS Bury said: “The Ramsbottom Cottage Hospital site was transferred to NHS Bury from Pennine Care Trust following the transfer of clinical services from the site.
“The site has been closed for a number of years as it did not meet modern healthcare expectations. Redevelopment of the site was explored but this was not possible and a decision to sell the site was made.
“NHS Bury has agreed to a conditional sale of the Ramsbottom Cottage Hospital site.
“The plans are fully in accordance with a covenant on the site and the sale is dependent on the purchaser gaining planning consent.
“NHS Bury has made efforts to keep the local community informed of plans for the site via their elected representatives at every stage of this development.”