A ‘majestic’ five-star hotel could be converted into a care home under the latest plans brought forward for the Victorian-era building.
Proposals that would have seen Moss Lodge Hotel, in Rochdale, turned into a rehab centre were thrown out by the council earlier this year, after residents raised concerns over public safety.
Now Reside Capital Resources Ltd has submitted plans to run the Kings Road guest house as an 18-room residential care home boasting ‘high quality’ facilities.
Only ‘extremely minimal’ changes are proposed for the former mill owner’s home – which dates back to 1848 – including blocking up two doors with matching stone. The applicant says this would ensure the building is ‘suitable for its intended use for many years to come’.
The existing car park at the back of the hotel would provide 17 parking spaces.
A planning document claims the site is ‘an ideal location for the provision of a new care facility’ as it is well served by public transport and easily accessible by car.
It goes on to outline further potential benefits, including the creation of 20 new jobs.
“The proposed development of a care facility is a better economic use of the building and the site than a hotel because of the poor operating climate currently experienced by the hospitality industry,” it adds.
“Additionally, the care staff and residents will also use local services which will contribute positively to the local economy. The development is socially sustainable as the new use will help to satisfy the growing demand for care facilities in Rochdale.
The applicant is also said to be ‘very conscious of the concern that may be felt by neighbouring residents and businesses’, in light of the rehab centre proposal being refused.
A ‘local engagement strategy’ has therefore been devised ‘to ensure people and demonstrate that the new use of the building as a residential care facility will have no adverse impact on their lives’.
“The developer will demonstrate the local need for care facilities with the aim to build empathy and understanding across all concerned members of the local community,” papers say.
The document stresses that no significant external alterations are planned for the building and claims the new use will have ‘virtually a null impact’ on the surrounding area
“The proposed change of use is in line with all planning constraints identified above,” it adds.
“The conversion of the building from hotel to care home will therefore be a worthy alternative use for this redundant facility.”
Rochdale council will decide whether to grant planning permission for the proposals.