Plans have been submitted by the new owner of a former Sleaford clinic to convert it into a complex of ten apartments.
Laundon House Clinic was closed by owners United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust in autumn last year after bosses said it was falling into disrepair, was unviable to bring up to standard and no longer fit for purpose.
Clinics held there were relocated elsewhere in the town or to sites in neighbouring towns.
The hospital trust then confirmed in April that the former maternity home had been sold for an undisclosed sum and in recent weeks workmen have been seen moving into the Eastgate property clear it out.
Andrew Derry of JAJ Developments of Newark is seeking permission from North Kesteven District Council for change of use of the building to four one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments.
Agent Kevin Coupland of Heronswood Design of Lincoln has submitted the designs for consideration explaining that the original use of the property, built in the mid to late 19th century, was residential, becoming the maternity home in the 1930s.
NKDC planning officials have stated that Laundon House is not listed, but has been identified as a local building of interest within the town’s conservation area and should be designated as a heritage asset. Particular care was expected to be taken to preserve the frontage but with rooms fanning out from a central hallway, it did lend itself to flats if internal walls and much of the existing structure was preserved.
In a statement accompanying the application, Mr Coupland says: “Typical of large scale mid-Victorian properties, Laundon House has extensive maintenance and management requirements, to secure its long-term preservation.
“Maintenance and management responsibilities for such buildings are costly, particularly if done to a good conservation standard, and the condition of the building is deteriorating, to a point at which the long-term preservation of the building is at significant risk. This risk is exacerbated as the building is currently vacant, which makes it more difficult to identify day-to-day and progressive deterioration/maintenance requirements.
“The current owners of the site and property therefore wish to secure a scheme to convert the building into active use and carry out the essential repairs, maintenance and improvements to the building, to secure its preservation in the immediate and long term.”
He explains: “The conversion will predominantly take place within the confines of the existing building and will secure high quality, modest residential development within an exclusive historical building, which is sustainably located within the town centre. The main landscaping and turning areas will remain unaffected by the proposal and the building benefits from an existing ramp to provide ease of access for people with
limited mobility and for pushchair use.”
He said the apartments were “likely to be attractive to young professionals, small families/couples and older people who wish to live close to the services, employment provision, public transport provision and amenities available within the town centre. The proposal will further contribute to the vitality of the town centre, through the re-occupation of a prominent historical building of local interest, which will secure its long-term preservation.”
There would be provision for ten parking spaces split between the front and rear of the site using existing entrances with space for overspill across the road in the Eastgate public car park, Mr Coupland said, adding that vehicle movements would likely be lower than when used as a clinic.