Decision day for former Clitheroe hospital

Members of Clitheroe Civic Society protest against the demolition.
Members of Clitheroe Civic Society protest against the demolition.

Plans to build 60 homes on the site of Clitheroe's former hospital could go ahead at a planning meeting tonight despite hundreds signing a petition against its demolition.

McDermott Developments Ltd and NHS Property Services are seeking full planning permission from Ribble Valley Borough Council to demolish all buildings and build 60 houses on the former Clitheroe Hospital site on Chatburn Road.

However, Clitheroe Civic Society, Clitheroe Town Council and Lancashire Archaeological Advisory Service have all objected to the application because of the building's social, historic and architectural importance.

And more than 2,100 people have signed a petition to stop the demolition.

Chairman of Clitheroe Civic Society Steve Burke said: "The application for the demolition of the former Clitheroe Union Workhouse and Community Hospital has been recommended for 'deferral and delegated for approval' by the local planning officer.

"This proposal will be considered at Ribble Valley Borough Council's planning committee meeting tonight.

"We hope that with over 2,000 of us signing up to prevent this outcome this will assist our elected representatives in resisting the developer's market force argument that this site cannot be redeveloped without destroying this unique local social, historic and architectural asset."

In a report to planners, a spokesman for Lancashire Archaeological Service said the demolition runs contrary to council policies and stressed that certain structures within the building, such as the porter's lodge and mortuary, should not be casually dismissed as of "minimal interest" within the Heritage Statement.

The application will be discussed at Ribble Valley Borough Council's planning committee meeting tonight at 6-30pm.