Councillors have criticised a plan to turn a historic pub in Timperley into a care home and apartment block, with one saying the proposed design was “shockingly awful”.
Local construction company New Care (Altrincham) Ltd had proposed to demolish the Pelican Inn and adjoining Altrincham Lodge Hotel on the 1.7acre Manchester Road site and replace them with a 75-bed care home and a 22-home apartment block.
But the time span for the application to come before Trafford’s planning committee lapsed because of an administrative backlog, prompting New Care to appeal against the ‘non-determination’ of the application.
The application will now be considered by the Planning Inspectorate.
Last week, however, councillors on the committee indicated they would have refused the application had they been able to determine it.
The proposals had already attracted opposition from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and conservationists, who said the distinctive Tudor revival-style pub, built in 1931 and designed by renowned architect George Westcott, was a “non-designated heritage asset”.
A pub of some description is thought to have occupied the site since the 17th century, and planning officers say the loss of such a community facility was “without appropriate justification”.
Officers also pointed to an “insufficient” contribution towards affordable housing provision and the overdevelopment of the site which would be “out of character” with the surrounding area.
Cllr Daniel Bunting, who represents St Mary’s Ward, said the proposed design was “shockingly awful”, while Timperley’s Cllr Meena Minnis said that “knocking it down and replacing it with a monstrosity is not the way to go”.
Officers also revealed that there was currently an over-supply of care beds the area, with 93 vacant beds within Timperley, Sale and Altrincham and 280 in the borough as a whole, and that a new care home in the area would bring “no added value”.
Cllr Barry Winstanley, vice-chairman of the committee, added: “If we are going knock down this much-loved asset, it’s going to have to be a much better scheme than this.”