Plans for Market Harborough’s old cottage hospital site confirm the war memorial portico will be retained

The war memorial portico before the closure of Harborough's Cottage Hospital in Coventry Road NNL-140309-131305001
The war memorial portico before the closure of Harborough's Cottage Hospital in Coventry Road NNL-140309-131305001

The new plans for the former Cottage Hospital site on Coventry Road, Market Harborough, have just been submitted to the District Council.

The plans confirm what developers told the Mail on March 1 - that the old hospital site will become a luxury new 70-bed care home, and that the Grade II listed war memorial portico will be carefully retained.

Niheer Mehta of developers Sterling Rose has told the Mail: “We understand the importance of the war memorial portico. We will work with the local community on this.”

Cllr Phil Knowles said: “This is all good news. I’m very pleased that the sale has gone through, and we’re not going to see that site standing derelict for months and months.

“And the early indications are that the developer is making a real attempt to ensure that the war memorial and portico is fully protected.”

Council leader Neil Bannister says: “I am pleased that a buyer has been found and the site is to be redeveloped.”

The new plans call for the demolition of the existing hospital buildings, with the exception of the Grade II listed portico, and the construction of a new 70-bed care home.

At the moment at looks as if the rare memorial - which unusually lists every Market Harborough citizen who fought in World War One, not just those who were killed - will be retained on the Coventry Road site, as part of the new care home.

The red brick-built care home will occupy much the same footprint as the redundant hospital, developers say.

There will be a large, enclosed courtyard garden to the rear of the building which has direct access from all of the ground floor bedrooms, the lounge and the dining room.

And the Sterling Rose / Acacia Care plans stress: “It is proposed to retain the portico in its existing location and protect it during the demolition of the existing building.”