A PLAN to transform a former Stalybridge care home into 33 apartments in a £2million development has been given the go-ahead by planners.
The proposal for Carson House Care Centre, Stamford Street, submitted by Cassell and Fletcher Property Management, was passed unanimously by Tameside Council’s speakers’ panel (planning).
The developer has revealed that building work to create the one-bedroom apartments will begin immediately, with January 2022 earmarked as the date for completion.
Ellie Huppert, group business manager for Cassell and Fletcher Property Management, has spoken about her excitement for the project at the former St George’s School, which is an iconic three-storey stone structure.
“It is a beautiful building, and I am passionate about bringing it back to life,” she said.
The planning officers’ report stated: “The building displays significant architectural detail in the ecclesiastical style windows, the proportions of which emphasise the striking impact of the building on the street scene.”
Ellie added community will be at the heart of the proposal with the apartments being marketed locally.
She is also asking for public involvement as she explained: “We recognise that Carson House does not have the best reputation and we would like to rename the building.
“We are keen to ask the local population what their suggestions would be.”
Councillor Doreen Dickinson raised the issue of the name at speakers’ panel asking that it was requested the developer did not call it Carson House.
Her preference was incorporating St George’s because of its long history as a school.
Planning officer David Thompson told the meeting that the former care home, which was in the Stalybridge Conservation Area, had been vacant for a couple of years, adding windows were boarded up and it had become an “eyesore” and the development would be a “positive benefit”.
He explained it was a town centre location and less than 10 minutes’ walk to bus and railway stations.
“It is a sustainable local for residential development and would have a positive impact and bring back the building into a visible use,” he said.
Mr Thompson added the main structure and character of the building would be unchanged with the installation of six roof lights and reinstatement of some redundant windows the only alterations.
He pointed out there were only 20 car parking spaces – less than one for each apartment – but he anticipated some residents would not have vehicles because of the location while the developer would be providing cycle storage as part of the scheme.
Mr Thompson added there had only been one objection which related to the high density.
He said: “Yes, it is a relatively high density, but the scheme is a re-use of the site.
“And all things considered, it will boost housing in a desirable location which is why approval was recommended.”
Approval was subject to a Section 106 agreement in which the developer has agreed to pay £16,278.66 towards improvements at Stamford Park while 15 per cent of the properties should be defined as affordable housing.
• Anybody wanting to suggest a name for the new development can email
firstname.lastname@example.org with their ideas.