Replacement care home plans in Staffordshire passed

A Stone care home is set to be demolished to make way for a new facility – and space in a nearby convent is to be converted into senior living accommodation.

The current St Mary's Nursing Home building In Margaret Street, Stone.
The current St Mary's Nursing Home building In Margaret Street, Stone.

Plans for the revamp of St Mary’s Nursing Home in Margaret Street and change of use of part of the St Dominic’s Convent building in Station Road were first put forward in 2018. More than four years later the redevelopment has been approved by Stafford Borough Council.

In total 73 residential senior living apartments are planned, with 22 flats in the convent building and 51 flats in a four-storey block. An extra care facility will provide 60 rooms across three floors of another building.

The Stone Dominican Sisters, who care for residents at St Mary’s Nursing Home, have been in Stone since 1843. But over the decades the number of sisters has dwindled from 190 to just 25 in 2018.

A planning officers’ report said: “Part of the convent would be retained for use by the Sisters. St Dominic’s Church would remain unchanged.

“The works to the convent building include the internal alterations to provide a mix of residential accommodation and the continued use of the convent by the Sisters. The Sisters would retain their own areas, including their accommodation, a library, chapel, offices and meeting rooms.

“St Mary’s Nursing home would be replaced by an ‘L’ shaped senior living accommodation. This is a four storey building with the longest elevation facing Margaret Street before turning at right angle west at the approach to The St Dominic’s Church

“The vehicular access to the building would be provided via the new access off Newcastle Street, which would involve the partial demolition of the existing modern section of the brick wall. A separate pedestrian access is to be provided from the footpath which runs alongside the side elevation of the St Dominic’s Church off Margaret Street.

“The care home would be accommodated in a single H-shaped building positioned to face Newcastle Street and the building would be three storeys high with vertical fins and glass on the façade. A central section and a single storey element with a roof terrace to the east link the front and rear sections, creating a courtyard to the west which faces a new access road off Newcastle Street and parking.

“The proposed layout plan has been amended during the consideration of the application, which resulted in a number of changes to the scheme. As part of the current proposal, the application also includes the construction of a single storey outbuilding with a swimming pool, which would be linked to the enclosed existing walkway, which currently is linked to the convent.”

The swimming pool, which would be staffed, is intended for the sole use of residents, the report added. Residents will also have access to facilities including a café, physio room, gym and hair salon.

Stone Town Council raised no objections to the proposals. Five residents wrote to the borough council and their concerns included an increase in noise, light pollution, location of a scooter store behind the nearest neighbouring residential garden and loss of light and privacy.

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