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Blackburn care home plan for Royal Infirmary site
12:00pm Monday 30th December 2013 in News
THE last remaining buildings of the former Blackburn Royal Infirmary could make way for a care home for the elderly.
Leeds-based Ideal Care Homes wants to demolish the building and replace it with a three-storey, 64-bed care home with car parking and landscaping.
A planning application has been submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council which will be scrutinised by council officials before going before the highways and planning committee next year.
The War Memorial Wing of the infirmary, built soon after the First World War, was the only part of the hospital left standing when the rest of the building was razed to the ground to make way for housing.
A planning document submitted by Ideal Care Homes shows this would now be demolished.
The document said: “An analysis of the wider local area has indicated there is a significant shortfall in both the quantity and quality of care bed spaces to serve the need for care. Consequently this site represents an ideal opportunity to build a purpose-built facility in line with modern standards to meet this need.
“The redevelopment of this site for a care home will have a positive impact upon the area by developing the site for a use that would be beneficial and fulfill a need, while providing a development sympathetic in terms of its scale and design.
“The development would bring economic benefits by creating employment and economic activity, both during construction and in the long-term operation of the home.”
Ewood councillor Maureen Bateson said she had mixed feelings about the proposed development should it go ahead.
She said: “The council has worked hard to get a development there and we have had discussions with the local community. This is the sort of facility we need in the area and I am pleased that there has been an application put in. However, I am very sad that we face losing an iconic building such as the War Memorial Wing.
“But when you think about what it was built for, to look after local people, at least it would keep this purpose. What we will ensure is that there is some sort of memorial garden to commemorate what the building was previously.”
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