Fears over loss of historic Wakefield Clayton Hospital buildings

Clayton Hospital
Clayton Hospital

Conservation groups have vehemently opposed the demolition of historic hospital buildings to make way for grammar school sports facilities.

Objections have been raised to a planning application at the former Clayton Hospital, which was founded in 1854 and was an NHS hospital until 2012.

Wakefield Grammar School Foundation wants to turn the disused site into a sports hall, swimming pool, drama space and outdoor games area.

An outline planning application, which gives consent in principle, will be considered by Wakefield Council at a meeting on July 20.

A report to the meeting said objections were maintained despite changes to the plans to retain more of the original buildings at the site.

An objection letter from Historic England said: “We remain extremely concerned regarding the proposed demolition of the remainder of Clayton Hospital, in particular the 19th century range including the pavilion wings, the Milne Gaskell Children’s Ward and the Shaw Nurses Home.”

The council’s own conservation officer also objected to the planning application, along with historians at the Victorian Society.

The Society’s objection letter said: “The scale, configuration and siting of the nineteenth-century hospital means that a majority of the site could be redeveloped without recourse to such demolition.”

Despite the objections council planners have recommended the application for approval.