Knutsford Town Council’s planning committee have declined to oppose demolition plans for the former War Memorial Cottage Hospital.

Permission was souht fromd evelopers McCarthy and Stone to knock down Memorial House, on Northwich Road, to create retirement living flats.

After meeting last week, the committee voted to lodge no objection. They instead requested financial contributions towards medical and transport provision in Knutsford.

A proposal to pose objections based on heritage grounds was rejected by the committee. The issue of an article four direction was also raised but this did not prevent demolition without planning permission as per a listed buillding.

Cllr Dean, on the committee, said: “There are some legal arguments about whether or not the British Red Cross had ownership. Leaving that to one side, I am looking at this as a planning application.

“If this building has not been used as a hospital for a long time, to have it as McCarthy and Stone retirement living housing is an excellent use for this site.”

The meeting was well attended, and five of the public present spoke against the application.

Charlotte Peters Rock spoke on behalf of the unconstituted Knutsford and District War Memorial Neighbourhood Forum: “Knutsford War Memorial was built to commemorate the tragic deaths of sons of this area during the Great War [and in] national service to this country. I believe it still belongs to the community and now needs to be returned under a suitable community trust.”

A final decision is now being awaited from Cheshire East Council as Knutsford Town Council cannot approve or reject planning applications. Final comments can be made by February 15th at planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk

The response will help inform CEC’s final decision. Comments can be made by February 15 at planning.cheshireeast.gov.uk

KTC cannot approve or reject planning applications.