As you will know Ramsbottom Cottage Hospital on Nuttall Lane was put up for sale early in 2012. It was first opened in November 1899 and was open for 110 years. It was closed in May 2008 and has never re-opened.
It has been a cause of frustration for residents that this building has remained empty for nearly 5 years.
I had previously urged NHS Bury (the owners) and the Secretary of State for Health to take some action as the Cottage Hospital was rotting away.
Just before Christmas, NHS Bury Estates and Property confirmed that the Hospital was under offer and the sale was expected to be finalised before April 2013.
Bury Council have now received an application for planning permission for the site to be developed. The planning application is for the demolition of the Hospital and the erection of 13 detached houses on the site.
Back in 2008, Stephen Mills, who was then chief executive of Bury PCT, said the hospital might be used as the site for a new health centre for Ramsbottom. This never materialised but a promise was made by Mr Mills that NHS Bury would “continue to engage with patients, staff and stakeholders in Ramsbottom about the potential uses for the site … They can be assured that the site will be used to the best effect in achieving local health gain in the context of the modern NHS.”
I am concerned that there has been no consultation on this sale and that Ramsbottom Cottage Hospital – a part of Ramsbottom’s Heritage – is now under threat of demolition.
Traffic issues are of course a problem on Nuttall Lane but it is not thought likely that it will add many vehicles to the road. Traffic would be an issue, no matter what was developed on the site.
The developers are now getting the site ready for building – they are removing a considerable amount of trees from the area. None of these are protected by a tree protection order. However it means that residents with houses along the perimeter of the site will see loss of tree cover and will experience some disruption.
I will of course update you as soon as I have some further news but residents who wish to make comment or object to the Planning Application should visit the Bury Council website’s planning pages – www.bury.gov.uk. The planning application is numbered 55938.