A former nursing home in Ainsworth could be transformed into two new homes.

Plans to demolish The Coach House, on Knowsley Road, have been re-submitted for a second time to transform the former nursing home and Isolation Hospital into two new homes.

If approved, the currently disused site could make way for a four-bedroom and a three-bedroom home, with red brick walls and slate-hipped roofs.

The whole of the former nursing home site lies within the green belt where development is very strictly controlled and trees within the site and on its boundaries are protected by a tree preservation order.

The site is also recognised to be a non-designated heritage asset and was originally known as Ainsworth Isolation Hospital, used for the treatment of patients with smallpox.

The hospital closed in 1982 and it was opened as a nursing home in 1986 remaining in that use until 2018.

The building layout still retains features relating to this time as well as evidence of later alterations however, the historical and aesthetic values are considered low.

Previously, the first planning application was submitted in November 2021 and was dismissed in November 2022.

Plans to demolish former smallpox isolation hospital to build houses rejected

Applicants Mr KJ and Mrs V Stopforth applied for planning permission for a proposed development at The Coach House part of the site, including demolishing the building.

However, the council argued that the building was a non-designated heritage asset and should not be pulled down and that the new build houses would damage the character of the green belt.

When rejecting the appeal, the planning inspector said: “The council contend that the smallpox hospital is the only one of its type within the borough, and I have no substantive reasons to question this.

“The contribution it made to the efforts to contain smallpox and the development of health care provision within the area is deemed, by the council, to be of local importance.

"The proposed dwellings would clash with rather than harmonise with the original buildings on the wider site.

“I consider the adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. I, therefore, conclude that the appeal is dismissed.”

The new proposal states that new dwellings will be built largely on the footprint of the existing building and will be designed to reflect the existing building and adjacent buildings, Knowsley House and The Wash House.

Both of the proposed homes would effectively be single-storey in design although the roof spaces would be utilised and facilitated by the inclusion of both dormer and Velux type windows.

A consultation is open now until July 28, and a deadline for the decision has yet to be set.