Hundreds of people have opposed plans to knock down a landmark former hospital building in Cannock.
A petition started at the weekend has already attracted 500 signatures from residents hoping to save Ivy House in Wolverhampton Road from demolition.
The building, which is 143 years old, is earmarked for the bulldozers under plans by Staffordshire County Council.
The works will form part of the nearby Langbourn House redevelopment scheme that will see 63 extra care residential apartments, a doctors surgery, respite centre, pharmacy, cafe and hairdressers built.
The Ivy House site will be replaced by 14 affordable homes. Parts of it date back to 1870 when it was built as the Penkridge Poor Law Union’s Workhouse. It later became The Chase Hospital and most recently used as county council offices.
Margaret Price, 66, is spearheading opposition. She said: “We have found there is a lot of attachment to the building. Many remember it being referred to as the workhouse from when their parents used to talk about it. A lot of the people over 60 gave birth to their children in the building and people in their 40s know it as the place they were born. There are a lot of links and ties to the building.
“People have been saying to us it is such a beautiful building so why knock it down.
“We have seen so many of Cannock’s historic buildings go outside of the town centre but this is the last straw. It is the one building worth saving in Cannock.
“It wouldn’t matter if they wanted to build a replica of Buckingham Palace there, we would still oppose it.
“In just a few hours we got hundreds of people to sign the petition. There is a lot of strong feeling about this. We don’t want any more glass monstrosities in Cannock. This building is our heritage. Once it is gone it is gone forever.”
Mrs Price said she will be out on the streets of the town again this week collecting signatures and setting up an e-petition on the Cannock Chase District Council website.
Staffordshire County Council said making the building fit for purpose would be “incredibly costly” and not “represent good value for money for council tax payers. Former care home Langbourn House was demolished last year.
Residents have also logged objections to the plans citing concerns over anti-social behaviour. There are also concerns about the height of the proposed two and three-storey apartments on the Langbourn site.
The plans, submitted to Cannock Chase District Council, are currently pending.