PLANS have been formally submitted to bulldoze the former St Oswald’s Hospital and replace it with 32 houses.
Developers Bloor Homes have applied to turn the one and-a-half hectare site, off Belle Vue Road, into a mix of 13 ‘affordable dwellings’ including a block of eight flats and a row of three terraces, and then a further 19 homes ranging from three to five bedrooms which will be sold on the open market.
Following a public consultation earlier in the year, designers have opted for a ‘low density’ option, but residents living nearby have still expressed fears the homes will generate an unwelcome surge in traffic movement.
Dr Anne Kristine Nissen, who lives in Mayfield Road close to the exit of Dark Lane and Belle Vue Road, said: “My major concern is the traffic another 32 dwellings will cause on Mayfield Road.
“The planning application does not indicate any change in the present situation of the traffic control on Mayfield Road and therefore does not take into account the noise and the obstruction increased traffic will cause.
“Mayfield Road is already suffering from a high amount of traffic, when the new habitants of the hospital site want to leave their new houses, the obvious route will be to drive down Belle Vue Road and on to Mayfield Road.
“This will create queues up at Belle Vue Road and will cause chaos at the junction with Mayfield Road, which is practically a single-lane road due to parked cars.
“The traffic situation at Mayfield Road is already unbearable, and adding an additional 32 dwellings’ daily traffic from the Belle Vue Road site will make it even worse.” Design and technical director Lee Griffin admitted that there could be a small traffic rise in the short term with construction vehicle movements, but insisted the developers would work with people living nearby to mitigate any problems caused.
He said: “I think the general feeling has not been an issue with the development of the site, but a wider issue off the site with traffic.
“We are very much aware of this and we’re open to working with locals.
“While there might be an issue in the short term with demolition and construction traffic we don’t feel it’s an issue that will be any worse with the development.” Mr Griffin pointed out that, as the site has stood empty for several years, any rise in traffic movements caused by new residents at the site would be noticeable, but should not show any increase over the movements that occurred while the hospital was open to the public.
He estimated that building the 32 plots could take around 18 months to two years to complete - but a completion date would be ‘dependent on market conditions’.