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Lead or Rumour info - Victoria House Eye Hospital - Hereford.

Discussion in 'Leads, Rumours and News...' started by Ruby, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Ruby

    Ruby 28DL Full Member
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    Hi All :)

    I'm Ruby, I'm new to this site, I'm very excited to start exploring and sharing.
    A couple of days ago i stumbled upon this building, so i went home and did some research this is what i found.


    Victoria House was built in 1912 as a home for the renowned eye surgeon Frances Woodley so he could live next door to the Eye Hospital. It is a handsome Arts and Crafts building designed by William Clarke. When eye care was moved to the main hospital the building was taken over by the National Health Service for offices, but when they moved out the building was left empty. It is then that it came to the attention of local people. Many thought it would suit as a much needed community centre for St Nicholas Ward because it is in a central location and is attractive, a place people would want to visit. It was put into the Hereford City Local Plan as a potential Community Centre.

    Meanwhile McCarthy and Stone, “the largest developer of privately owned retirement property in the UK” based in Bournemouth, put in an application to knock down the building and replace it with retirement homes, with landscaping, community facilities and car parking. According to the Land Registry the building is owned by the Primary Care Trust, valued at £650,000 but with an agreement, made in June 2011 to sell it to McCarthy and Stone. Presumably they wont buy until they get their planning permission.

    Once the planning application went in, Cllrs Sharon Michael and the late Cllr Julie Woodward (both It’s Our County) responded to the concern of local people. They asked the historian David Whitehead to write a report and English Heritage to assess the building. EH concluded that the building was not rare enough for national listing, but it was undoubtedly an important local building. Here they were at odds with Herefordshire’s own building officer who yet again said there was no problem with the demolition of a significant building, in this case Victoria House. Happily the Planning Officer didn’t agree and the report to the Planning Committee said that “the application was not of sufficient benefit to outweigh the loss of a locally important building”.

    At the Planning Committee Meeting of May 16th councillors turned the application down. Since then the building has been in limbo, McCarthy’s have not withdrawn or changed their application.

    Said Cllr Sharon Michael

    “We are delighted the Planning Committee recognized the value of Victoria House to local people. We hope the planning application is withdrawn completely so we can proceed with the campaign to preserve and convert Victoria House to a community centre.”


    From what i can gather, this place has been sat in silence since 2011.
    I went to explore the site from the outside and took a few photos on my phone.
    There was a hole in the metal fence which i managed to squeeze through (benefits of being tiny)
    When i got through i went to have a mooch around the back of the building, and it was mostly boarded windows,
    with a few outhouses and mostly over grown weeds covering the back, unfortunately i didn't see any entry points,
    i didn't try any of the doors just in case there was any rabid tramps armed with beer cans on the other side.
    Also i found some damages (broken windows, terrible graffiti, a dead bird and a pair of trousers)

    There was also a sign saying a security guard patrols around the site, but to be honest with you i can't see how that would be very true, seeing this place has been sitting here for some time and there was no sign of anyone there.



    Just to note quickly, the photos I've uploaded were taken with my phone and uploaded via TinyPic so my apologies for the quality and size, as this is all new to me, and it was a flying visit to the site just to have a quick view with my phone.


    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Ruby, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014

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  2. Gabe

    Gabe 28DL Regular User
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    Well done for getting out there and having a look but without any internal pictures its kinda lacking, go back and think outside the box and I'm sure you can find a way in.
     
  3. Ruby

    Ruby 28DL Full Member
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    Thank you for looking at my post, yes i very much intend to go back and have a better look, this time with my cameras. :)
     
  4. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Keep plugging, could be good in there. I bet theres more of these smaller places down your way to hunt out.
     
  5. Ruby

    Ruby 28DL Full Member
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    Just a matter of keeping a look out, i had no idea that place was there until the other day and i must of been past it many times before, crazy right?
    I'm just not sure if there is any entry to this one, i am new to all of this would be feel like an amazing achievement on my part if all goes well.

    Determined would be an understatement. :)
     
  6. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    See what else you can track down. I fancy a trip to Herefordshire but there's never much from that area online.
     
  7. Ruby

    Ruby 28DL Full Member
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    It's quite surprising what you find round here when you're actually looking, places i pass nearly everyday. There's a place in Mordiford Loop, called the Dragon's House which i believe is close to Hereford.

    (flikr photo) https://www.flickr.com/photos/leshaines123/5250022566/ I don't think you can go inside but it looks really beautiful.
     
  8. Tylerisaway

    Tylerisaway 28DL Member
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    Hello Ruby.
    I was wondering have you been inside yet?
    I live in the area and had always seen it and wondered what was left behind inside.
     
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