Businesses destroyed by pandemic could now become homes in Rochdale


A 24-year-old kennel and cattery in Wardle could now be demolished and turned into homes after the pandemic destroyed the business.

Springbank Luxury Boarding Kennels, on Birch Hill Lane, in Rochdale, was forced to close after last year’s vacation restrictions wiped out their income.

Kennels also lost staff with the opening of small home businesses, where individuals cared for dogs or cats from their homes.

Kennels closed due to the pandemic in March 2020, but never reopened.

A planning statement said: “The owners had to reluctantly shut down the business.”

A request has now been submitted to Rochdale Borough Council for the partial demolition and conversion of the existing kennels and catteries into six houses, which includes increasing the height of the building’s walls and the construction of new roofs.

A detached house will also be created, as well as an access driveway and landscaping.

The request has so far received an objection and the site is located in the green belt.

According to the planning statement, the owners of the site currently reside at Woodd Lane, north of the site. They started work in 2020 to update the buildings with natural stone and slate as they were visually preferable, before realizing the business could not continue.

The roofs were then removed in anticipation of the change in use of the houses before it became obvious that an urban planning application had to be filed.

Currently, the roofs of the kennels and the cattery have been removed, and the link between the two buildings demolished.

The planning statement outlined plans for the two main buildings to be transformed into six two-bedroom houses, with new attic rooms to create accommodation on the first floor. The partially built detached house – a bungalow – will also be completed.

The existing courtyard will be used to create gardens and parking, and the detached house will feature an open-plan living room, kitchen and dining room, as well as two bedrooms and a bathroom.

The statement said: “The proposal would result in reduced traffic to the site. When it functioned as a kennel and cattery, it was estimated that there were 15 vehicles – by staff and customers – visiting the site by day plus commercial vehicles.

“Garbage collection was previously handled by the private sector, but that would change for the local authorities for the houses.”

The request will be decided by the Rochdale borough council later this year.

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