Historic Melksham Labour Club faces demolition
4:25pm Monday 3rd February 2014 in By Adam Care
The former Melksham Labour Club, one of the oldest buildings in the north of the town centre, could soon be demolished and replaced with flats.
Developer Applewood Designs has applied for permission to build a new block of 17 two-bedroom apartments on the site of the club, which closed down in 2012.
The original two-storey stonework building was constructed in 1895, as a replacement for the town’s first cottage hospital, and was used as an education institute before it was taken on by the Labour Club in the 1960s. In 1969 a series of contemporary extensions were built onto the existing building.
The plans submitted to Wiltshire Council include a traditional-style building to the front which would be visible from Bath Road, with windows and roof pitches “directly comparable” to the current club. This would be linked to a more modern development at the rear.
Parking provision for the flats will be also available to the rear of the development.
The building was included in the heritage trail designed by the Melksham and District Historical Association in 2012, and received a blue plaque marking its significance to the town.
Association chairman Cathy Berry said: “While we are regretful that part of Melksham’s past is going to be lost one does have to be practical.
“The original building may have been suitable for adaptation but a large extension was built on the front very early in the hospital’s history.
“The Developer is aware of our Heritage Town Trail, in fact he has returned the blue plaque to us until such time it can be re-instated or is even willing to pay for a new one with slightly altered wording.”
The plans will now be considered by the Town Council, before going before Wiltshire Council for formal approval.
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