Historic hospital buildings to stay

HISTORIC buildings at the site of Clevedon Cottage Hospital will be retained as part of a planning application due to be decided on next month.

With plans to sell the Old Street site for development once a new community hospital is built at Millcross, NHS North Somerset has submitted an outline application to create 14 houses there.

The application first proposed to demolish all but one of the buildings, The Seasons, with the remaining area used to create all new dwellings.

However, following concerns raised by Clevedon Civic Society and a North Somerset Council conservation officer about the historical significance of the older hospital buildings, the application has now been changed to retain two areas; the former stone barn and matron’s house, which will be converted into two homes. The rest of the newer hospital extensions would be demolished.

NHS North Somerset altered the plans after commissioning a historic building assessment, which concluded that the oldest parts of the building have particular local historical interest due to the fact the hospital was set up by Sir Arthur Hallam Elton.

An NHS North Somerset spokesman said: “There was a response during the consultation from Clevedon Civic Society, which we looked into and then commissioned a historic building assessment by a heritage expert.

“They recommended keeping the two buildings for cultural reasons to recognise the local contribution of the Elton family.”

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Clevedon Cottage Hospital was opened in 1875 by Sir Elton in buildings he owned at Highdale Farm and he funded it himself for the first few years.

He was also credited with establishing and funding a number of other facilities in Clevedon including the library, orphanage, allotments, gasworks and waterworks.

The historic building assessment said: “The hospital is one of a great number of public institutions and facilities that Elton gave to Clevedon and reflects the great concern he had for the health and well-being of local residents.”

NHS North Somerset’s outline application for the Old Street site, which still proposes 14 dwellings but with two created in the older buildings, is due to be considered by North Somerset Council’s north area planning committee on April 7.

The outline application has been put together in the hope of attracting a buyer for the site, who would then need to submit a full planning application before work could start.