Care home to face demolition

A CARE home ordered to close by inspectors is up for demolition. Woodfield Lodge in Rectory Lane, Stevenage, was closed last November with the loss of 20 jobs after it failed to meet adequate standards to care for the elderly. Now an application has been

A CARE home ordered to close by inspectors is up for demolition.

Woodfield Lodge in Rectory Lane, Stevenage, was closed last November with the loss of 20 jobs after it failed to meet adequate standards to care for the elderly.

Now an application has been lodged to demolish the historic building, which is in a conservation area, and rebuild a new 30-room care home on the site.

A previous application to demolish the building and construct a 40-bedroom care home was rejected last October.

Numerous residents from the area have written in to Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) to object to the latest application.

Their concerns include the demolition of a historic building and the size of the new building.

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The Stevenage Society for Local History wrote in to object to the initial application, and its secretary Colin Killick said that although the building itself has not always been sensitively restored, it is of historic importance.

Mr Killick said that Woodfield had been home to significant local figures, including an Admiral Fellowes who had done a lot of work with the poor.

Mr Killick added: "A number of our members are concerned that buildings that have local history are just getting knocked down and replaced by housing.

"The Old Town is beginning to be under siege again."

The latest application has been recommended for refusal by officers at SBC.

The officers say the replacement building would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

The application is due to be discussed at a meeting of the planning and development committee of the council next Tuesday, January 30.

* Rectory Lane is due to be closed apart from access to allow work to be carried out on an embankment. The embankment at the junction of Rectory Lane and Nicholas Place is being reduced by developers building in Nicholas Place to improve safety for those turning out of the road. The work is due to start in February and is expected to take two months.

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