New flats will open at hotel

23rd Febuary 2011.'Stoneleigh Hotel, Doncaster Road Wakefield.' 'Picture: MATTHEW PAGE
23rd Febuary 2011.'Stoneleigh Hotel, Doncaster Road Wakefield.' 'Picture: MATTHEW PAGE
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A 19TH-CENTURY hotel which inspired a classic novel will become flats in the autumn.

The first 20 flats built at the site of the former Stoneleigh Hotel, on Doncaster Road, Belle Vue, should be completed in September.

And a further seven flats are planned.

The hotel was originally built as a terrace of houses in 1880, which was home to the mother of literary legend George Gissing.

It was while visiting her that he found inspiration for his novel A Life’s Morning.

Planning permission was granted last summer, and developers now have two years left to complete the scheme.

Project leader Abdul Hussein said: “The project was on hold for a while but it is now back on track and we’re looking forward to opening the first phase in September.”

The Stoneleigh Hotel was used as a hotel from the mid-20th century until 2006.

In 2008, a planning application to convert the building into a nursing home was approved and building works started, but it was soon stopped after the project went bust.

Under the terms of the planning consent for the new homes, Mr Hussein will have to pay £75,000 towards affordable housing in the Wakefield district under a 106 agreement.

Mr Hussein, who also bought Carr Lodge Mansion in Horbury from Wakefield Council in October 2010, said the outside of the building would retain most of its character.

There will be 23 car parking spaces.