Don’t demolish part of Clitheroe’s history
The Victorian society is calling on Ribble Valley Council to incorporate the former Clitheroe workhouse into plans to build housing on the outskirts of the town. The building is currently home to Clitheroe's community hospital.
Hospital services are transferring to a new £12 million development to be built on adjacent land. Developers want to turn the old Chatburn Road site over to housing and propose to demolish all the existing buildings, including the historic workhouse.
The Victorian Society is strongly opposing the move and is urging the council to reject the current application to build 52 homes on the site. The society believes that planners have a choice; they can approve a run-of-the-mill housing estate that rubs out the past, or they can strive for a scheme that saves an attractive, historic building and is unique to the town.
The building is not in a conservation area and is not protected by listing, despite a recent application by the Victorian Society.
‘English Heritage has rigorous criteria for listing workhouses built after 1870, and so despite recognising it as a well-designed and much loved landmark it was not able to recommend for listing. We are, of course, disappointed by this decision' said Alex Baldwin, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. ‘The building still has significance locally though, and this decision must not be used as an excuse to strip Clitheroe of its history.'
The building is structurally sound and reusable. A sustainable solution would be to adapt the original workhouse building to include a series of dwellings and still build a large number of new homes in the grounds.
Wednesday 4 March, 2009