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St Ann’s Hospice plans to build a £20m new facility on land next to its site in Heald Green.

Once built, the current hospice would be demolished to make way for 40 new homes - with the new residential development part-funding the project,

The hospice celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, having been built in 1971 as an extension to the Victorian era St Ann’s Hospital, which became part of Cheadle Royal in 1887.

Paul Jarvis, director of business development at St Ann's, said the fact people were living longer and with more complex conditions meant a new facility had become imperative.

He added: “The building was never designed as a purpose-built hospice, we are one of the oldest in the country.

“The current building is just not fit for the future. The delivery of health care - and specifically end-of-life and palliative care - has changed so much over recent years that a 50-year-old building just doesn’t work.

“If we were to leave it any longer we would struggle to operate from our current building in five to ten year’s time.”

The new hospice will be built on a two acre plot to the east of St Ann’s Road North - around twice the size of the current site, which it borders.

It will consist of two buildings: a 27-bed inpatients unit and a centre offering day therapy and out-patients services, as well as patient and family bereavement support.

The second building would also boast offices, training facilities and ‘ancillary space’.

The new hospice, to be built of red-brick to complement the surrounding Cheadle Royal Conservation Area, would also be served by 129 parking spaces.

Provided planning permission is granted, the new residential development will feature up to 40 homes, likely to be made up of one and two-bedroom apartments as well as semi-detached family houses.

A screening application to establish the need for an environmental impact assessment has been submitted to Stockport council, with a full planning application to be submitted shortly.

Bosses hope to have moved into the new building within the next three years.

However, once planning permission is granted, the hospice will move into a ‘fundraising phase’ as the new facility cannot be funded by the sale of land for houses alone.

Mr Jarvis added :“We looked at rebuilding on the current site but it's just not big enough to maintain the level of world-class care we want to offer - that’s mainly to do with the building and its age and what future health care looks like.

“Having spent a number of years working on this project, we are really excited to be in a position where a planning application has been submitted for consideration.

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"It's very early stages, but we are optimistic the outcome will be favourable and are excited about the possibility of building a hospice for our local community that is fit for the future care of patients and their loved ones."

Founded in 1971, St Ann’s Hospice originated as St Ann’s Hospital, initially built in the late 19th century to treat children with epilepsy before it was integrated into Cheadle Royal Hospital in 1887.

After 1971, the Victorian building was extended in phases for hospice use. It is regarded as a non-designated heritage asset by Stockport council.

St Ann’s has two other sites in Greater Manchester - at Little Hulton, in Salford and the Neil Cliffe Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital.

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