Villa will be restored to former glory

Worcester News: A NEW ERA: Woodside A NEW ERA: Woodside

A ONCE grand Worcester house which fell into ruin is due to be restored to its former glory after it was signed over to new owners.

Woodside in Lark Hill Road, off London Road, will be a home once again following its sale by Zog Group to sustainable developers Zero C, which has already constructed six environmentally-friendly homes in grounds close to the site.

The move ends months of uncertainty surrounding the future of the grade-two listed building which was recently placed on SAVE – Britain’s heritage at risk register.

As previously reported in the Worcester News, Woodside was ransacked by vandals in 2010 when they caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and destroyed many of its period features.

Planning permission had been granted two years earlier to turn the early 19th-century villa into luxury flats.

But work stalled as the recession hit and a leaking roof caused further deterioration.

Kim Slowe, managing director at Zero C, which has built an award-winning development that will be used by athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games, said the repairs would begin almost immediately.

“We were very concerned as developers over the state of deterioration of the main house,” he said.

“The plan is to work closely with the conservation officer to restore the property back to a single dwelling and demolish the 60s add-on.

“We will firstly do the roof works and windows and get it back to being water tight.

"Obviously, we’ll go through the planning process to get approval to do the restoration of the house.

“The whole thing will go back to a better condition than when it was offices when the more interesting features of the house were covered up or damaged.”

Mr Slowe said he expected the renovation work to cost in excess of £400,000 and to take a year to complete.

“It’s a nice part of Worcester and we intend to return Woodside to its former splendour.”

Carl Jukes, conservation officer at Worcester City Council, said he was delighted that Woodside would have a new lease of life.

“It’s been a long road and if Kim hadn’t come along then we’d be looking at a different scenario.

“We’ve worked well with Kim. We’re happy for him to take it over and we look forward to a positive outcome.

“We do need some larger residential properties in the city and this is ideal.

“We will continue to work with Kim as and when needed and will be liaising regularly over the next few months.”

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