Society reaffirms its opposition to demolition plans

The snowdrops in the grounds of the former Clitheroe Hospital.
The snowdrops in the grounds of the former Clitheroe Hospital.

A charity which champions Victorian and Edwardian buildings is opposing plans to demolish Clitheroe’s former community hospital.

A spokesman for The Victorian Society said: “As we did when consulted on a similar proposal in 2008 the Society strongly objects to this harmful and unjustified application and recommends that it is refused consent.”

An application has been submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council planners by NHS Property Services Ltd to demolish the former Clitheroe Community Hospital as well as the former Clitheroe Union Workhouse on Chatburn Road and build up to 50 houses.

A petition started by Clitheroe Civic Society opposing the plans to demolish the buildings has already been signed by more than 770 people.

The spokesman for The Victorian Society added: “Implementation of this scheme would result in the total and unjustified loss of significance of distinguished buildings of high local importance that could with relative ease be brought back into use.

“The substantial weight of national and local planning policy renders such a proposal entirely insupportable. We stand by our previous advice, and that of Ribble Valley Borough Council, in recommending that the application is refused consent.”

Penny Monk, a Chatburn Road resident who is a keen gardener, is concerned that any plans for the site take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of snowdrops that line the entrance and avenue up to the hospital.

“They are part of the history of that building and the history of the town,” said Penny who added that any plans for the site should include a condition to protect and maintain its garden.