A PLANNING application has been made to demolish part of the former Ainsworth Nursing Home.

The site on Knowsley Road was most recently in operation as a 33-bedroom nursing home, but was originally used as an isolation hospital for smallpox patients in the 1900s.

Between 1913 and 1921, the home was also used for tuberculosis patients.

The isolation hospital closed in the 1982 and was converted before opening as a nursing and residential home in 1986.

In November 2018, 24 residents had to be relocated after the owner took the decision to shut the premises.

The previous owner of the nursing home sub-divided the site and sold it off in lots.

Plans have now been submitted to Bury Council proposing the demolition of a building known as ‘The Haven’ and the erection of a replacement building for use as a private dwellinghouse, with garden and two parking spaces.

Whilst the site as a whole has been locally listed by Bury Council as a non-designated heritage asset, the property "possesses no heritage value or visual appeal whatsoever" according to the application.

"The Haven hardly lives up to its name," said the application. "It is a nondescript, squat, clumsy, peculiar, utilitarian structure of unprepossessing / ugly appearance, sandwiched between two buildings that do possess a degree of status and heritage calibre (one of which is Knowsley House, the former HQ building for the nursing home).

"We understand that – prior to selling off the site in lots – ‘The Haven’ was attached to Knowsley House via a short corridor on its left hand side. "That link was removed by the previous owner, such that The Haven now stands alone as a freestanding detached building.

"Such is the poor appearance and quality of The Haven, it is harmful to the overall heritage value and character of the site, and its replacement with a better quality, sympathetically designed building will deliver visual and heritage-related benefits."

The nursing home site comprises the adjacent Knowsley House, the Gate House to the south-west, The Wash House to the north-west, The Coach House to the north, The Haven itself, Knowsley Manor to the far east, and The Bungalow to the south. The Haven and The Bungalow are much later editions to the other buildings erected in the Edwardian period.

The application added: "Fundamentally, this particular building is unsightly, unsympathetic and out of character, harmful to the setting of those buildings which do possess a degree of merit and heritage significance, and which will be enhanced through the better quality, more sympathetic and sensitive design and appearance of the proposed replacement building."