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Planners to consider 30 homes at old hospital

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: April 09, 2013

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LANDMARK building, the former St Oswald’s Hospital, could be demolished to make way for 30 new homes if plans are approved at a meeting next week.

Bloor Homes Ltd have applied to Derbyshire Dales District Council’s southern area planning committee for planning permission to demolish the old hospital buildings in Belle Vue Road to make way for housing.

The committee will meet to debate the application at Ashbourne Leisure Centre on Tuesday next week.

The development will include 18 houses with four or five bedrooms as well as affordable housing which will include one three-bedroom house, three two-bedroom houses and eight one-bedroom apartments.

A new access will be created as well as two public open spaces and car parking areas. An “arts and crafts style” will be used for the detached homes on the site, while the affordable homes will create a street scene along the access route to a turning circle at the top end of the site, which will have private driveways leading off. A consultation exercise conducted by Bloor Homes at Ashbourne Town Hall has been used by the company to make suitable alterations to their original design.

Traffic has been highlighted as a major concern for residents in Belle Vue Road and Mayfield Road as both routes become busy in the mornings and evenings and residents have expressed concerns that additional traffic from the development will cause more problems in the area.

The firm will also contribute £56,681.36 to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, as the development is likely to attract additional students to the school which is already over-subscribed.

Derbyshire County Council had asked for the developer to contribute £11,520 for additional library services and £15,000 for footpath improvements, but planners rejected the request in favour of requiring Bloor Homes to provide affordable housing and the contribution to the school.

Officers have recommended the application be approved subject to 14 conditions, including strategies to protect roosting bats, hedgerow birds and protected trees and hedgerows.

Ashbourne Town Council objected to the plans to demolish the former hospital building, but in a report Bloor Homes demonstrated that converting the building would not be financially feasible.

The district council used an independent consultation to verify that converting the hospital, even with additional residential development, would result in losses of between £372,000 and £648,000 for a developer.

Built in 1848 as Ashbourne Workhouse before later becoming a hospital, St Oswald’s was substantially altered in the 1960s and 1970s and no internal features of significance remain.

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