Plans to convert a Victorian manor Denehurst House into five flats for local veterans in Rochdale

Denehurst House was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but its condition has deteriorated - Rochdale Council hopes its plan will secure its future.

A Victorian manor house in Greater Manchester could be renovated into flats for local veterans to use under plans which have been submitted by a council.

Rochdale Council has lodged a planning application for Denehurst House to become somewhere for former soldiers who have served the country on the front line to live.

The local authority hopes to secure the future of the local historical landmark, which was built in the late 1800s and early 1900s but in more recent times has seen its condition deteriorate. The scheme, if it gets the green light from the planning committee, is also part of its armed forces covenant to help reintegrate those who have been in the military back into civilian life. The plans also include a dozen work placements for local residents to gain experience in construction and new qualifications.

What are the plans for Denehurst House which Rochdale Council has submitted?

The planning application lodged by Rochdale Council outlines the transformation of Denehurst House into five self-contained flats for veterans. These will include one fully-accessible flat on the ground floor which would be suitable for a person who uses a wheelchair. There will also be a café, a public adult changing toilet and new parking.

The council’s armed forces covenant aims to help former military personnel back into civilian life and the plans for Denehurst House are part of this.

A Victorian manor house, Denehurst House was built between 1893 and 1909 in Denehurst Park for Alderman Robert Turner, the founder of Turner Brothers Asbestos Company. It was then gifted to Rochdale in 1932 by his son Samuel Turner and was used as council offices for many years. To prevent its deterioration, the town hall has considered developing the building through a number of uses. However, it has now concluded that only a residential conversion along with the creation of a café is a viable way to progress.

If the scheme gets approval, the work will be carried out by Groundwork Greater Manchester alongside developer H Bell and Sons. As part of the scheme, training is being offered by Groundwork for up to 12 local people to undertake a work placement on the site.

Aimed at people wishing to pursue careers in construction, the five-week programme will include gaining City and Guilds qualifications, first aid training and learning about safety in the bulding industry.

What has been said about the scheme?

Terry Morley, a veteran’s manager who served with 1st Battalion King’s Regiment, said: “This will deliver high-quality accommodation, job opportunities and support for health and wellbeing for veterans in the area.

“It shows partnership working at its best and underlines Rochdale’s proven track record of supporting members of the armed forces past and present.”

Coun Daniel Meredith, cabinet member for highways and housing, said: “These new homes will be of great benefit for our armed forces veterans. They will enjoy modern affordable living in a fantastic setting, close to the town centre, services, shops and schools, and transport links which include the railway station and bus routes.

“This conversion will ensure the long-term future of Denehurst House while also injecting life into the park by introducing a café that will bring new employment.”