New plan to bulldoze one of Stoke-on-Trent's oldest homes

New plans have been lodged to demolish an historic but derelict Stoke-on-Trent house, and build three new homes in its place. Ford Green House, which dates back to the early 19th century, is believed to be one of the oldest homes in the Potteries.

But the Smallthorne property is now in a state of serious disrepair, following arson attacks, vandalism and a lack of maintenance, and has been vacant for years. A fresh planning application has now been lodged to bulldoze the building to make way for three new family homes on the Ford Green Road site.

Previous demolition plans from the same applicant, a Mr Khan from Burslem, were rejected by council planners due to a lack of information. Ford Green House - not to be confused with the nearby Ford Green Hall - is not listed but has been considered a 'non-designated heritage asset' by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

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According to a heritage impact statement submitted as part of the application, Ford Green House is now an 'eyesore' which is in an 'extremely dangerous condition'. Historic building consulants Richard K Morriss and Associates, who produced the statement, say the building has 'limited' architectural quality, and would require a 'very radical and very expensive' restoration to make it liveable again, which would further reduce its heritage value.

The statement reads: "It is considered that Ford Green House is now in such a poor and derelict condition that any of the historical or architectural heritage it may once had had has been so severely compromised that it would no longer be considered as a non-designated heritage asset under the guidelines of the National Planning Policy Framework.

"The degree of necessary rebuilding work to restore the property is such that more of its fabric would need to be lost in the process and the end result would be in effect little more than a replica utilising the salvageable elements of the external shell.

"There will clearly be a degree of harm in heritage terms as a result of these proposals due to the necessary loss of the building –notwithstanding its present ruinous condition - but that harm will be more than compensated for in the planning balance by the removal of a dangerous structure and the provision of new dwellings within the existing parameters of its grounds."

At least three devastating fires have been recorded at Ford Green House since 2012, most recently in March of this year.

The proposed development would consist of three five-bedroom detached houses. There would also be a garage at the end of a driveway, off Ford Green Road.

The previous planning application to demolish Ford Green House prompted seven objections from residents. Objectors raised concerns over new homes being built on the site, which they said was of 'special local interest'. Concerns were also raised over the impact of the demolition on local roads.

Council planners are due to make a decision on the proposals by July 17.