Former army buildings to become flatsBy Nick Edmondson
November 16, 2012
A PAIR of listed buildings formerly used by the army are to be refurbished and transformed into 17 flats.
The Union Buildings on Aldershot’s Hospital Hill, formerly property of the Ministry of Defence, have fallen into disrepair over the last two years after having been declared surplus to requirements.
Applicant Annington Property Ltd proposes refurbishing the buildings, demolishing an existing link between them and converting them into a 12 two bedroom and five one bedroom flats.
Speaking at a meeting of Rushmoor Borough Council’s development control committee, Annington spokesman Janet Green said that the development would retain the historic nature of the buildings while ensuring their future.
Council committee members voted in favour of the application.
Cllr Jennifer Evans said: “I welcome this. I think it will be an enhancement for the town. I think that the application will be carried out in sympathy for the history of the buildings.”
Construction of the buildings began in 1629 as part of the Tichborne estate. It was then used as a workhouse before being developed into a school for pauper children, called the Union School, in the early 19th century.
The building was later used as a military hospital when the army established its camp in the area during the 1850s.
Following the construction of the new Cambridge Hospital in 1879, it was reassigned to be the army pay office.
In 1907 the building was gutted by a major fire, causing the roof to collapse and significant damage to the upper floors.
It survived the Second World War unscathed, despite the nearby Salamanca Barracks being bombed. In recent years the army has used it to support Aldershot’s military families by employing it for a creche, gym and play school.
Cllr Bruce Thomas suggested that a plaque could be placed on the refurbished building informing residents of its history.
Cllr Don Cappleman said: “As an ex-soldier these buildings are actually quite fondly remembered from my times staying in Aldershot.
“I am happy to see that the period details will be kept. To lose those vaulted ceilings would be criminal.”