Two plans revealed for old hospital site - The Malvern Observer

Two plans revealed for old hospital site

Malvern Editorial 10th Sep, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

A DEVELOPER hoping to create a new care home on the site of the former Malvern Community Hospital has admitted they are stuck between ‘a rock and a hard place’ over its design.

James McGarry, director of Montpelier Estates, was speaking after two planning applications were officially submitted to Malvern Hills District Council to demolish the 104-year-old building to pave the way for the 50-bed home.

Images revealed by The Observer in May showed a proposed contemporary design for the Lansdowne Crescent site, but a temporary scheme has also been put in for consideration.

Mr McGarry said: “We presented an idea to the planners and they said it wasn’t brave enough so to go out, enjoy ourselves and be brave.

“We came back with a modern design which was positively received but at the public consultation the local community didn’t like the modern view and thought a traditional approach would be a better solution.

“We are between a rock and a hard place so we thought the best thing to do was do two options — a contemporary one and a traditional one.

“There are some people who feel strongly about the design of certain buildings but we believe it is not viable to retain the building.”

The £6million scheme has been opposed by residents, with a petition against it racking up more than 160 signatures in the first five days of it going live.

And Bob Tilley, chairman of Malvern Civic Society’s planning committee, said the principal issue behind any development was the proposed demolition of the building.

“We want to retain the building,” he said. “It has architectural merit and it is in one of the most attractive areas in Malvern.

“There must be exceptional circumstances for it to be demolished but we don’t think they are exceptional just yet.

“It has been said it is not the most special building in the world, but we don’t agree with that. We believe it is special and needs some work going into it.”

The hospital is within Great Malvern’s conservation area and was opened in 1911, but had its doors shut in 2010 when it was replaced by the new site in Malvern Link.

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