Affordable homes to form part of former Aberdeen hospital site

Woolmanhill Hospital central square
Woolmanhill Hospital’s Central Square

A full planning application has been lodged for the revitalisation of the Woolmanhill Hospital site in Aberdeen by developer Charlie Ferrari.

The rejuvenated public space at the heart of the project would be named Central Square.

Mr Ferrari’s expertise has already led to the transformation of numerous significant buildings across the city and his proposal for the Woolmanhill site includes a 52-bedroom boutique hotel, 27 serviced suites, 30 residential apartments and 10 affordable homes, along with the focal central square.

CAF Properties (Woolmanhill) Ltd has applied for full planning permission to renovate four important buildings on the Woolmanhill property. The application has been made jointly with NHS Grampian as the current owners of the site which was the location of the original Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The hotel and serviced apartments would be owned and operated by the Glasgow-based G1 Group (Holdings) Plc.

Mr Ferrari believes the development would complement the area, which is important to the city culturally and historically, and which already houses buildings of architectural significance, including His Majesty’s Theatre, The Central Library and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

He said: “We believe our proposal will make a significant contribution to the wider masterplan for the revitalisation of Aberdeen city centre. Woolmanhill is an important landmark in Aberdeen and breathing new life into this site preserves its history and marks a new chapter in its story for current and future generations.”

All four main buildings are listed and the hotel project, to be located in the Grade A listed Archibald Simpson building, will form the centrepiece of the redevelopment. Special attention is to be paid to the central square which is to be redesigned to be traffic-free, enhancing the relationship of the hotel to the serviced apartments and residential development. The hotel would also provide a venue for weddings and conferences and ample parking would be available on-site and at the adjacent NCP car park.

The proposal shows the east-facing Stephen Building, which looks onto the main Woolmanhill roundabout, encompass a range of 27 one, two and three-bedroom serviced suites, to be available on a short to long-term tenancies.

The long west-facing Victoria building would be renovated to become 30 two and three- bedroom apartments and duplexes with the Archive building to the north being made available for the provision of 10 affordable flats.

Construction of the original Aberdeen Royal Infirmary complex began in 1740 and latterly Woolmanhill was used as an out-patient clinic. It is now surplus to requirements and NHS Grampian was granted permission to close the facility in 1999. Services have been vacating the building in a phased process over the last two years, with many relocating to the Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village.

Subject to obtaining all consents, it is hoped the redevelopment work could start on the site mid 2017 with completion scheduled for mid to late 2019.

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