A ‘dilapidated’ former nurses’ home that has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour could be demolished and replaced with ‘high quality’ new houses. Developer AM7 Group has lodged plans to build 27 homes on the site of the long-vacant building at Cheadle Royal Hospital, in Wilmslow Road, Heald Green.
Dubbed ‘The Royal Quarter’, new proposals feature a mix of three, four and five bedroom properties, including townhouses as well as detached and semi-detached homes. A new vehicle entrance would be created from the nearby St Ann’s Hospice and each home would have two parking spaces.
While the Grade II-listed Cheadle Royal Hospital continues to operate as a specialist mental health service, the former nurses’ accommodation – dating back to 1936 – has been vacant since the 1980s. Although not protected itself, the nurses’ home sits within a conservation area and its proximity to The Avenue – an historic park and garden – means listed building consent would be required to knock it down.
Documents submitted in support of the application say the proposals would ‘provide high quality living spaces for families’, replacing a ‘dangerous’ building and bringing benefits to the local area. Papers add: “Over the years, the application site has fallen into a state of disrepair and has attracted significant amounts of anti-social behaviour and strain on local emergency services.
“The proposal will regenerate the site and turn it into a vibrant development providing 27 new family homes, whilst improving public safety in and around the site, especially for users of the hospice, hospital, business park and local residents.”
The properties would be set around a ‘central green space’, with the layout also including play areas and further landscaping. “The existing building is becoming dilapidated and dangerous and must be demolished to ensure the site is safe for the local community,” a design and access statement adds.
“The proposed development will clear the site and reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour associated with the area to turn this space into a thriving area for families to live.”
The developer says it recognises the historic value of the site and will ensure its character is retained – with the new homes boasting arched windows, front facing gables and Juliet balconies.
However, there would be no affordable or social housing on the site, as the developer claims this would make the scheme financially unviable.
Anique Chohan, director of AM7 Group, said he was ‘truly excited’ by the firm’s vision for the former nurses’ home.
“Together with our team of well-regarded consultants, we have worked diligently to produce a scheme which not only is sensitive to its former state but is in line with what the local residents and councillors hope to see,” he said.
“In turn we anticipate seeing a reduction in anti-social behaviour; easing the strain caused to emergency services over the years.
“Cheadle is home to a thriving and vibrant community, and we hope this development will fulfil the rising demand of the housing shortage Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council are faced with.”
Jamie Wood, director at Pozzoni, said the site had “remained dormant for far too long”.
“While the former nurses’ home structure must be demolished to make the site safe, we’ve taken care to incorporate many of its unique features into the design of the new homes,” he said.
“As a result, we’ve introduced several features that will enhance the site design including shared open space and play areas at the heart of the proposal, a wildlife corridor, and a landscaping strategy to include enhanced tree planting.”