Posted: Wed 26th Dec 2018

Hawarden Monastery housing plan consultation launched

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Dec 26th, 2018

Hawarden residents are being given the opportunity to comment on a plans to build new houses on the site of the Poor Clare Colettine Monastery on Upper Aston Hall Lane.

A consultation period has been launched ahead of a formal planning application which is expected to be submitted to Flintshire County Council by Liverpool based architects Cass Associates on behalf of Eccleston Homes.

The monastery, which is made up of a variety of chapels, prayer rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and dormitories was purpose built just after the Second World War.

[Poor Clares Colettine Monastery]

Plans will see the buildings demolished and 16 four bedroomed detached houses built in their place.

The Poor Clare Colettine is attached to a parish in Nottingham and has been in Hawarden for ninety years.

Thirteen sisters lived in the convent up until this summer, they had been faced of mounting bills to restore and maintain the Hawarden property which backs onto Gladstone playing fields.

A public auction of their belongings took place in June, it was billed as a “unique, unrepeatable, amateur auction of ancient furniture, doubtful works of art, nunny junk, cloistered clutter, flotsam, jetsam, slightly off-white elephants and really useful odds and ends.”

Mother Damian who lived at the Hawarden convent since 1982 said:

“We’ve had a wonderful life in Hawarden but we’ve come to realise that we can’t cope with the size of the property.

The grounds are big but the infirmary is too small.

Our boiler needs to be replaced and there is other major structural work to be tackled.

The house is also full of stairs; we can see it will be harder for us here in five years, so we are looking to the future.”

As part of the move, the nuns applied for a Home Office license to disinter 18 sisters from their Hawarden cemetery.

The deceased sisters will be reburied in the grounds of the Nottingham monastery. “They are a part of our community. They’re our roots; if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been in Hawarden all these years.” Mother Damian said.

[Proposed layout]

As part of the development process a feasibility study was carried out into the potential re-use of buildings within the complex which could potentially house office space for 200-300 members of staff.

The road access through Hawarden and along Upper Aston Hall Lane is seen as “totally unsuitable and inadequate for this potential additional traffic flow, which is primarily along a residential street.” Chartered Surveyor Bolton Birch state.

The site would need dedicated parking for up to 150 cars on site.

“This would involve significant redevelopment and surfacing of garden and woodland areas which would result, in our opinion, in a significantly more detrimental impact on the green barrier.” Bolton Birch said.

A design and access document notes the buildings which make up the monastery are “basic and dated nature with little modernisation or upgrading having been carried out since its original construction in the 1940’s / 1950’s. In our opinion the property requires a significant programme of refurbishment and improvement.” Cass Associates states.

[Style of the four bed houses]

The 16 detached houses will be built in locations where the monastery, St Damien’s Lodge and the walled kitchen garden currently stand.

The formal garden will be a focal point for the development and will provide an amenity for residents.

The former carriage drive will provide a central spine through the development, “this has a historical resonance” the planning document states.

A full set of plans and other documents can be viewed here: www.cassassociates.co.uk/downloads

The pre planning application consultation is open until January 18th 2019 – you can respond here: all@cassassociates.co.uk

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