Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Historic Gem Finally Set to Be Restored to Its Former Glory

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Historic Gem Finally Set to Be Restored to Its Former Glory

Article excerpt

BLACK and white pictures capture the former Whitefield Town Hall in its 19th Century glory, with a couple crossing a small bridge over the lake.

But a 20-year planning debacle has taken a terrible toll on the once glorious Whitefield House.

Tucked away off Pinfold Lane, all that is left is the crumbling south facade of the building. Metal fencing surrounds it and trees overhang the red-brick ruin.

The site has been the subject of 10 planning applications since October 1994 when permission was granted to fit metal grills and roller shuts to its doors and windows.

Yet, bizarrely, the site is promoted on a website as the soon-to-open 60-bed Whitefield House Nursing Home with plans 'to set a new high standard in nursing and care.' .

Images of the new building appear alongside promises of 'a full range of activities and services to help those in our care live as independent and fulfilling life as possible.' Now the M.E.N. can reveal that developers are on the cusp of giving the historic gem a new lease of life as a care home as a land wrangle with Bury council is close to being resolved.

Built in 1805 by Edward Barlow, a nankeen manufacturer when Britain was at war with France. He named it Green Hill but from 1933 to 1974 it was Whitefield Town Hall.

In 1857 Alfred Grundy, a solicitor, bought it and renamed it Underley.

It passed through various hands before being acquired by Whitefield council in 1933 under whose stewardship it fulfilled various functions before being bought by local solicitor, Stephen Latimer, and Dr Kumar Kotegaonkar Planning was granted for a nursing home in 2004 and the new owners made a start on site after being given the go-ahead to demolish the building.

But Bury council then changed the status of the property and its location to a conservation area - and ordered the demolition to cease.

Since then arsonists and vandals, as well as planning bureaucracy, have taken their toll on the property, which is now wrecked.

And after a whole series of false starts and delays, in October 2014 permission was granted for a 60-bed care home with rehabilitation facilities, car parking and landscaping. …

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