St Mary’s hospital, Leeds, demolished by stealth

Another application to demolish more of the St Mary’s hospital campus in Armley, Leeds:

The iconic principle elevation of the hospital.

A couple of months ago, I posted about another wing of this hospital being demolished. At that time, there wasn’t much remonstration due to the retention of the main hospital building featured here. Now that wing is for the chop, it is clear that the entire hospital is to be lost, incrementally, to avoid drawing the ire of conservationists.

The mental health hospital occupies the former Bramley Union Workhouse of 1862, shown in the map above. The historical importance of this building goes without saying. A stunning building with a beautiful tower capturing the humble elegance so many Victorian public institution buildings imbibe.

No statutory protection results in the demolition prior approval going through the planning system unprotested. In the officers report, the council acknowledge the buildings to be ‘considered to form non-designated heritage assets’. This should be enough to remove PD rights via article 4, and avoid the demolition.

I hazard that this could never happen due to the asset belonging to the local NHS trust, and being part of a wider asset strategy, which will involve selling some land, and down buying sites elsewhere, undoubtedly which has been programmed in for years. Interference from the planning department on such matters is just not the done thing.

And its not as if there is an exponentially increasing demand for mental health services or anything like that.

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