Denehurst House to be converted for the use of local veterans

The Victorian manor house, Denehurst House in the grounds of Denehurst Park.
The Victorian manor house, Denehurst House in the grounds of Denehurst Park.

Published: 3 February 2023

A Victorian manor house is set to be converted to provide homes for local armed forces veterans.

A planning application has been lodged by the council to transform Denehurst House in Denehurst Park into five self-contained flats, including an accessible one-person home on the ground floor designed specifically for a wheelchair user. If the plans are approved, 12 local people will have a chance to work on the project while gaining new qualifications.

Terry Morley, a veterans' manager who served with 1st Battalion King’s Regiment, said:

“This will deliver high-quality accommodation, job opportunities and support for health and wellbeing for veterans in the area.

 “It shows partnership working at its best and underlines Rochdale’s proven track record of supporting members of the armed forces past and present.”

These plans form part of the council’s armed forces community covenant which is aimed at encouraging the integration of armed forces personnel back into civilian life.

Denehurst House has a long history having been built between 1893 and 1909 for Alderman Robert Turner, the founder of Turner Brothers Asbestos Company. It was then later gifted to Rochdale by his son Samuel Turner and was used as council offices for many years.

To prevent its deterioration, the council considered developing the building through a number of uses for the mixed architectural building. However, it concluded only a residential conversion along with the creation of a café was a viable way to progress.

Councillor Daniel Meredith, cabinet member for highways and housing, said:

 “These new homes will be of great benefit for our armed forces veterans. They will enjoy modern affordable living in a fantastic setting, close to the town centre, services, shops and schools, and transport links which include the railway station and bus routes.

“This conversion will ensure the long-term future of Denehurst House while also injecting life into the park by introducing a café that will bring new employment.”

In addition to the new homes and café, a new public adult changing toilet will be developed along with new parking.

The work will be carried out by Groundwork Greater Manchester alongside developer H Bell and Sons. As part of the scheme, training is being offered by Groundwork for up to 12 local people to undertake a work placement on the site. Aimed at people wishing to pursue construction, the five-week programme will include gaining City and Guilds qualifications, first aid training, and learning about safety in construction among other things.

For more information about taking up this opportunity you can contact Groundwork at:

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