Hospital de-listing to aid redevelopment rejected

Facilitating redevelopment is not a valid ground for appeal against refusal of a proposal to change the listed status of a former convalescent hospital on the edge of Aberdeen, a reporter has concluded.

The appellants claimed that the building, most recently used as a school, did not meet the listing criteria because it was not of special architectural or historic interest. The reporter disagreed, finding the arts and crafts design to be a rare remaining example of a late 19th century shift in healthcare towards rural institutions designed to create well ventilated and well lit spaces to aid recovery. He found the building largely unaltered externally and its setting intact.

The appellants further argued that the listing should exclude certain existing features. The reporter was satisfied that single-storey elements were part of the original design and that a verandah on the principal elevation was a distinctive and typical feature of convalescent hospitals and retained particular interest and importance despite having been considerably changed from its original form.

He also held that internal features and a largely intact floorplan should remain included in the listing description to ensure that any future development proposals respected the original layout and put forward justification for removal of any internal features not of architectural or historic interest. In dismissing the appeal, he referred to advice in paragraph 15, annex 2 of Historic Environment Scotland’s 2019 designation policy and selection guidance that factors such as financial issues, proposed future use or a building no longer being in its original use will not be taken into account.

Reporter: Stuart West; Written representations

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