Potential plans to convert a disused Rochdale town centre hotel into flats for homeless people have been revealed this week.
The former Broadfield Park Hotel – which dates back to the early 20th century, is named after the Grade II-listed park it stands in, and was originally built a nurses’ hall of residence on the site of the old grammar school – closed its doors for good last year, despite undergoing a major refurbishment back in 2013.
But now, it could return to its original residential use.
It comes after the Fairhome Group – a Salford-based national provider of independent living for some of the most vulnerable people in our society – has lodged plans to convert the three-storey building into 31 new apartments for “affordable rent”.
A design and access statement has been submitted, along with planning application.
The statement says that the “tumultuous events” of the last 12 months have worsened the social and economic uncertainty and adds: “There is a requirement for new affordable housing to meet the needs of homeless people in Rochdale, as there is across the country”.
It continues: “The Broadfield Park Hotel’s previously established use as hotel accommodation means that the property can easily be adapted to the change of use proposed without harm to local character, without harm to the living conditions of occupiers or neighbours and without harm to highway safety.
“These changes will bring about positive benefits in respect of local character and heritage conservation”.
The proposed conversion set out in the plans would provide 22 one-bedroom flats and nine studio flats for future occupants, which would include kitchen and en-suite facilities that “provide modern, attractive, affordable living accommodation for people in need”.
There would also be a reception/concierge area, shower rooms and storage facilities.
The Fairhome Group says it will work in partnership with a “registered provider” to manage the apartments, and new residents would enter into a two-year renewable tenancy agreement – which would also include a 28-day eviction period should the “house rules” be broken – to encourage them to “form lasting links with, and to care for, their local community”.
The plans also confirm that there would be no change to the size of the building as the majority of the proposals involve the modernisation of facilities and alterations to the internal layout, however, it does say that prominent advertisements and signs which “detract from the character and appearance of the area” would be removed.
Plans also state that the 2,485 sq metre site would retain its 34 parking spaces, although few – if any residents – are expected to drive or have a car, and the application claims that there would be fewer car journeys to and from the site.
This means the development would have no impact on road safety in the area.
Although no date is confirmed at present, a decision on the proposed plans is set to be made by Rochdale Borough Council in due course.
Yellow weather warning could bring ‘winds of up to 80mph’ and heavy rain to North West
Autumn is well and truly underway as colder temperatures have already started to descend on the UK. Now, though, high winds and heavy rain are expected to hit various regions across the nation.
The Met Office announced a yellow weather warning on Monday afternoon, predicting that strong gusts of winds exceeding 55mph are set to affect northern and western parts of the UK on Wednesday.
Meteorologist Alex Deakin said Brits should prepare for a “blusterous and boisterous” week ahead.
A yellow weather warning can encompass everything from injuries and danger to life caused by flying debris, to structural damage, disruption to travel and public transport, as well power cuts and more.
‘Persistent rain and stronger winds’ are already said to be battering parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland, before beginning to sink into more central areas of the UK from Tuesday onwards.
With rainfall expected to measure in at between 30-50mm across western Scotland – as much as 80mm across some mountainous areas – the low pressure is due to hit the northern and western parts of England on Tuesday night.
Experts have warned that while they are yet to nail down the exact details of peak wind strengths, they could easily surpass 55-65mph.
“There is a chance the deep low pressure system will bring gusts of 70 to 80 mph to northern parts of the UK on Wednesday”, says Sherwin, warning that “should this develop, disruption to travel and wind damage would be more likely. In addition, heavy rain in the northwest may make travelling more difficult.”
Stronger gales will remain on the cards for the North West as well as some significant rain, with the heaviest showers expected to fall on more western regions.
Best get weighing those bins down and preparing for a potential work-from-home day.
In just seconds, the entire ceiling is ablaze, with terrified customers scrambling for the exit.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service released the video in a bid to raise awareness and prevent any similar incidents at hospitality venues in the city-region.
The shocking incident occurred in a shisha bar in Rusholme, in May this year.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but several people were taken to hospital with suspected burns.
In both this instance and in the One Eight Six incident, the cause of the blaze was determined as being ‘indoor fireworks igniting decorations, which then burned rapidly allowing the fire to spread’.
GMFRS is now working with licensing teams from the 10 councils in Greater Manchester to offer free information and advice sessions to owners and managers of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants in advance of the Halloween, World Cup and the Christmas party season.
Leon Parkes, GMFRS’s director of prevention and protection, said: “Hospitality venues have a responsibility to keep their customers and staff safe and at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we want to help businesses to understand their legal responsibilities and take action to protect their property, staff and customers from fire.
“We have seen a couple of instances in the past year in Manchester where fires have broken out in venues caused by indoor fireworks setting light to decorations.
“While fortunately fires don’t occur very often, the impact of a fire can be devastating and many businesses don’t recover.
“Pubs, bars and other venues will be very, very busy during October, November and December. It’s important that staff prepare by getting trained in what they need to do and that they don’t inadvertently create a fire risk.
“We know that the last two years have been really difficult for hospitality businesses and hopefully the forthcoming World Cup and Christmas period will be a boost for them. We gave out fire safety advice in May last year as Covid-19 restrictions eased and we are now working with our partners to help hospitality businesses be safe and stay safe.”