PLANNERS at High Peak Borough Council have turned down a building application, to convert Taxal Lodge into 14 homes. A meeting of the council’s Development Control Committee was taking place on 16 August 2010 to confirm the recommendation.
Taxal Lodge, on Linglongs Road and about quarter of a mile from St James’s Church, is one of the most impressive buildings in the Whaley Bridge area. It is just over 100 years old. Almost half of its life has been as a private home, the other half as a special school. The planners note: “Although it is not listed, Taxal Lodge is a locally important building, interesting in terms of its history, its size and setting in woodland.”
During recent years, the building has been empty, a target for vandals and at one time arsonists. The Lodge closed in 2005 as a residential school for children in care, run by Stockport education authority. At one time, between 50 and 60 boys lived at the Lodge.
The planning application, from Ruttle Contacting Ltd, sought to create 14 residential dwellings in Taxal Lodge, ranging from two to four bedrooms.
- Six would have been in the main, three storey part of the building
- four units were planned in the two storey section
- a further three in the L shaped building
- the 14th a conversion of a detached house.
Whaley Bridge Town Council and the local amenity society, while approving of the ‘sensitive re-use’ of the hall, were concerned about extra traffic on Linglongs Road.
County highway officers came out against the application, saying the limited width of Linglongs Road was unsuitable for extra traffic.
But the clinching argument for the borough planners was that the proposal did not include any ‘affordable housing’, a key part of the council’s Local Plan. The 106 year old story of Taxal Lodge continues …