WORK started this week on the demolition of the old Malvern hospital in Lansdowne Close.

The building became redundant as a hospital when the new community hospital in Worcester Road, Malvern Link, opened in 2011. Since then it has remained unoccupied.

In July 2018, developer Montpelier Land Ltd was given permission to knock down the building and build a 46-bed care home on the site.

In December the same year, Montpelier won a new application to add a further five bedrooms to boost the total to 51.

This brings the capacity of the care home back to that of Montpelier’s original application, which was rejected by Malvern Hills District Council several years ago.

A number of different designs were proposed for the home, which were also rejected by the district council,

The hospital site and buildings were a gift to the town from philanthropist C W Dyson Perrins, who also gave the town its library, Rose Bank Gardens and Dyson Perrins school.

This week, Clive Hooper of Malvern Civic Society said: “It’s very sad that we are now losing an important part of the town’s heritage.

“The civic society argued that Montpelier could have provided a viable care home using the existing building as the basis for its development, but we were overruled by the district council

“That was a very disappointing decision, especially since the district council had produced a supplementary planning document in 2006 outlining the desirability of keeping it.”

The society had previously campaigned for the building to be given a Grade II listing.

However, it was concluded that the building was not nationally significant enough to have statutory listing.

Mr Hooper said: “Given that the hospital was given to the town by C W Dyson Perrins, it’s a great shame that were losing it.”

This week, a spokesman for Montpelier confirmed that work was under way on the site, but declined to provide further details.