The housing association aiming to build 59 units for older people on the old St Martins site in Queen Street, Gillingham, has put in its planning application.
And in its planning statement housing association Magna Housing admits that the existing St Martins House on the site – an iconic red brick building built as a show home for the town – could be pulled down at any time.
It says: ‘The site is not located in a conservation area and the buildings are not listed or otherwise protected. Accordingly, they can be demolished at any time without any further approval or consent.’
The current owners of the site, Dorset County Council – who have given Magna an option to buy the site at a knock-down price – asked planning authority North Dorset District Council if they needed permission to demolish the building and last month NDDC said they did not.
The plans to demolish St Martins House to clear the way for the 59 units have caused huge controversy in the town, with local residents and councillors pledging to do all they can to fight the move and save the building, which was built at the end of the 19th century by Thomas Hudson.
A public meeting is being held at the town hall on Tuesday 16 October at 7pm.