The Birkenhead family home of Everest climber Andrew “Sandy” Irvine is set to be converted into apartments.
Plans have been submitted for the redevelopment of the former ESWA social club on Park Road South.
The three-storey Victorian house on Park Road South was where Irvine lived during his school days in Birkenhead before he studied at Oxford University and later joined George Mallory’s ill-fated bid to climb Everest in 1924.
The house, which looks across Birkenhead Park, later became the ESWA sports & social club and interest groups dedicated to Irvine’s life expressed interest in buying it when it shut down in 2012.
However, it suffered extensive damage in a fire in August 2013 and was later bought by Wirral firm ND Property Ltd, who have repaired fire-damaged areas, including the upper floors and the roof, and made it ready for renovation.
Now plans have been submitted to Wirral council for the “conservation and reinstatement of former Social Club” by creating within the building 11 apartments.
The scheme would also see seven townhouses and a further 21 apartments on the 1.5 acre site, which includes two former bowling greens.
According to documents submitted in support of the planning application much of the original interior has been lost or damaged.
Generations of mountaineers have been fascinated by the exploits of Mallory and Irvine – and whether they made it to the summit of Mount Everest.
A heritage statement with the planning application for Irvine’s former home says: “The property remains as an evidential link to Sandy Irvine who is a nationally significant figure, it formed his childhood home and thus links back to his formative years and the character and development of skills which led to his selection as part of the Everest expedition in 1924.
“He also spent his last months at the house until he departed in February 1924, never to return.”
The report adds: “It is concluded that the property is of high historical significance.”
No decision has been made on the planning application and so far no date has yet been set for councillors to consider the proposals.
Source: Liverpool Echo News