FEARS have been voiced for the future of an historic hospital after plans to convert it into upmarket accommodation were abandoned.
Last July permission was granted to build up to 300 homes at the former site, which boasts a Grade II listed building, which has stood neglected since it closed in 1999.
The plans for the eight hectare site included ‘Manhattan loft’ style studio apartments and three new apartment blocks containing 100 units, 63 semi-detached and terraced houses and 59 two-bed apartments.
The plan also incorporated playing fields, woodland, a wildlife pond, play facilities and a car park
According to local councillor, Iain Roberts, it is a privately owned site and it was entirely up to the owners if they chose to sell it on rather than develop it.
Coun Roberts said: “We are concerned that the longer the site goes undeveloped, the more expensive it becomes to save the building and it may end up not being economic even with the enabling development around it. However, it is a private site and if the owners want to sell it, that’s their choice.”
Reaction from residents on the web has been mixed with one person pleading with Coun Roberts to help save it
‘Jono’ said: “It would be a tragic loss if Cheadle loses this fantastic Grade II listed building. I have been walking near the site and I was heartbroken, it’s gone really downhill recently.
“Numerous slates are now missing and large parts of the walls are starting to crumble. It is only a matter of time before it will be beyond repair and it looks like that time will be very soon coming.”
“Can the council in any way put pressure on the owner to carry out urgent repairs to the building?”
Coun Roberts added: “Our biggest concern in the short term is that the listed Barnes Hospital building doesn’t deteriorate further,
“The site has been recently visited by officers from the development management team who are due to have discussions with the site owners about the need for works to the building and officers will also seek an update in respect of their future intentions.”
The hospital was built in 1875 by Robert Barnes. It operated throughout the wars, caring for injured soldiers, and patients with tuberculosis and yellow fever
The hospital was later used for older patients and stroke sufferers and closed its doors after cuts to local healthcare budgets.