How historic hospital site could be transformed under ambitious plans

This is how an historic former hospital site could look if plans to transform it into dozens of affordable homes and a new care facility get the go-ahead.

Ambitious proposals for the Grade II-listed St Thomas’ site, near Stockport town centre were progressed to the ‘detailed design’ stage earlier this year.

Now the project – which aims to create an ‘intergenerational neighbourhood’ – has taken another step forward after a full planning application was lodged for the Shaw Heath complex.

Documents refer to the development as ‘St Thomas’ Gardens’.

The plans include 68 new homes – a mix of apartments, mews houses and new-build terraces – as well as a 70-bed care home dubbed The Academy of Living Well.

(Image: PRP architects for Stockport council)

The state-of-the-art home would be made up of two buildings linked by a communal lounge. Red brick would reflect the historic character of its surroundings, with paler shades adding a ‘subtle contrast’.

It would also include a small area fronting onto Royal George Street, which could be used for a range of commercial purposes.

The three acre site, is bordered by Royal George Street, Shaw Heath and Flint Street on the fringes of the town centre.

The site will retain and revamp most of the historic buildings on the site, including the original workhouse, dining room and administration buildings.

However the original infirmary, new infirmary and girls’ workshop have fallen into serious disrepair and will be demolished. The facades of the union building and the boys workshop will be preserved.

View from Hollands Mill Road to pedestrian link
(Image: PRP architects for Stockport council)

The development would form part of the Royal George Quarter, part of the regeneration of ‘Town Centre West’ into an ‘urban village’ boasting 3,500 new homes.

Bosses hope it will further boost Stockport’s credentials as an age-friendly town while meeting an increasing demand for urban family home.

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A design and access statement submitted with the application sets out the potential benefits of the scheme.

It states: “The development will bring back into use an important town centre site and contribute to the growth of Town Centre West.

“In so doing, it will secure the long-term future of a number of listed buildings which are of merit architecturally as well as being important to the social history of Stockport’s growth through the 19th Century.

“The scheme will deliver a variety of high quality houses which will provide much needed new, affordable homes designed to attract a mixed and diverse community.”

View from proposed new pedestrian link looking towards St George’s spire
(Image: PRP architects for Stockport council)

It adds that the project will support the council’s plans for creating Greater Manchester’s ‘newest, coolest and greenest urban village’, while helping older residents to live ‘longer, healthier and independent lives’.

The plans also feature extensive landscaping including a podium garden and a mixture of resident-only communal areas, pedestrian routes, and semi-private yards.

There would be 52 parking spaces with 16 disabled bays and provision for 44 bicycles.

The affordable homes would be managed by Stockport Homes.

|Ma Evening Post