Former Wellington hospital could become flats

A former hospital is at risk of being demolished if plans to redevelop it continue to stall, town councillors have heard.

Shropshire Restorations Ltd has applied to convert the former Wellington and District Cottage Care building into six apartments and place nine bungalows on its two-acre grounds.

The facility opened in the 1910s, converted into a respite and care centre in 1990 and closed two years ago.

Wellington Town Council’s Planning Committee raised no objection when it discussed the application, and member Giles Luter said "there has got to come a point where we move forward”, or the building will fall into disrepair and "inevitably have to be demolished”.

A planning statement, submitted by Osian Jones, of OM Architecture and Design, on behalf of Shropshire Restorations director Adam Smith, says the cottage hospital is known to have had 20 beds, two private wards, an operating theatre and an x-ray room.

"While very little of the original early-20th-century internal detailing remains, this is an opportunity to breathe new life into a valued building, significantly improve its visual appeal and secure its long-term future,” Mr Jones writes.

Blueprints show four bungalows to the left of the current driveway, which opens on to Haygate Road. Two more will be placed further up, to the right of the main building, and the remaining three will go behind it.

Committee member Dorothy Roberts pointed out that the Shrewsbury-based developer had, in earlier plans, positioned a pond immediately west of the main building. In a later revision, this has moved further back.

"The pond is supposed to be a community area,” Cllr Roberts said.

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"It’s now in a corner, and it’s not going to be very accessible.

"It was more central where it was before.”

The committee agreed to offer no objection but note the concern about the pond’s new position.

Councillor Giles Luter said: "I quite like this application, in that it’s retaining the original building. The type of housing proposed, bungalows, is something that is in short supply.

"There has got to come a point where we move forward with people trying to develop the site, otherwise we will end up with a building in such a state of disrepair that it inevitably has to be demolished, because it will have no use any more.”

An unrelated application by the Wolverhampton-based Bromford Housing Group to place 14 one-bedroom flats and four three-bedroom houses on the site was withdrawn in January.




Date: 23 May 2020 | Source: Shropshire Star

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