'An exciting project which will make Wakefield proud': Schools' partial demolition and revamp of Clayton Hospital approved

Wakefield's historic Clayton Hospital will be partially demolished after councillors gave the go-ahead to the first phase of a redevelopment scheme.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:42 pm

The hospital, which was built in the mid 19th century, has been taken over by the Wakefield Grammar School Foundation, whose schools neighbour the derelict site.

They've now been given planning permission to knock down most of the hospital buildings, with the exception of the pavilion, which will be restored and refurbished.

Sports facilities for students at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and Wakefield Girls' High School, including a multi-use games arena (MUGA), will be built on the site.

The hospital has been derelict since 2012.

Outline permission for the overall scheme was first granted by Wakefield Council in 2017, but a planning meeting on Thursday saw the first specific details get the green light.

Objections to the proposals did come from a hospital neighbour however, amid concerns about on-street parking along the narrow North Road Terrace.

Resident Basil Basray, who's lived in the area for 20 years, suggested that the plans for 12 spaces along the road would be dangerous and would potentially block homeowners' driveways.

Mr Basray told the meeting: "We're not objecting to the principle of development.

The hospital's pavilion building will be saved from the mothball.

"In fact, we're looking forward to the demolition of the hospital and the building of new facilities.

"What we're concerned about relates to the parking along North Road Terrace.

"Why do we think this is a concern? North Road Terrace is a private, narrow road, further restricted by residents' parking.

"The applicant has not demonstrated there won't be a serious impact or safety issues.

"It's a narrow one-way street and not the width of a two-way highway."

Helen Massey, a governor at the Wakefield Grammar Schools Foundation, told the meeting that consultants had worked with the council for four years to "address any concerns".

She told councillors: "The Foundation has been providing education in Wakefield for 430 years. We will strive to ensure that this exciting project is a beacon of excellence of which Wakefield will be proud.

"Time, care and investment from all parties will ensure the proposals will be sympathetic to its surroundings and will not only benefit the schools, but the wider community."

"Clayton Hospital sits at a key entry point to thee city. By approving this application, the economic benefits and positive message this will send out will be that Wakefield is a forward-thinking city."

Ms Massey also said that the proposals would create jobs and "reverse the decay" of a much-loved building.

Created by local philanthropists to provide free healthcare to Wakefield residents in the decades before the NHS, Clayton Hospital shut in 2012.

The empty structures have been subject to vandalism and disintegration in the years since, and the redevelopment has been supported by the Wakefield Civic Society.

Councillors approved the proposals by eight votes to one.

Local Democracy Reporting Service