Homes plan for Hunts former hospital site

THE former isolation hospital in Primrose Lane, Huntingdon, could be demolished to make way for 36 new homes, if councillors agree on Monday.

St Ives developers Campbell Buchanan are seeking planning consent for five one-bed and 10 two-bed flats, two bungalows and 10 three-bed homes after demolishing the existing unlisted two-storey Victorian buildings on the site.

After the isolation hospital closed, they were used as a GP maternity unit until Hinchingbrooke Hospital was built in the 1980s when they became NHS offices, most recently used by NHS Cambridgeshire, the primary care trust.

On Monday, Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management panel will be asked to approve the development, which will include 14 ‘affordable’ homes.

Huntingdon Town Council has objected to the scheme on the grounds that there is insufficient parking in the area.

The council has received two letters of support for the development and nine objecting to it, including people wanting to see the existing buildings retained – an option the council’s planners themselves included in a recent public consultation on the future of the site. Some of the bricks include names, initials and dates etched into them by soldiers billeted there at around the time of the Great War, and the developer has agreed to re-use them in the new buildings.

But the principal objections from neighbours are also about parking in the area.

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Planners say the design of the replacement buildings closely replicates the Victorian Primrose Centre and, even though three storeys high in part, would be only 0.5 metres higher.

They accept that parking provision is less than ideal, but point out that the site is close to the town centre and public transport.

If the development is approved, Campbell Buchanan will be required to contribute nearly �28,000 towards pre-school education places and nearly �50,000 for off-site public open space provision.