Precious Yorkshire documents may get new home

Registry of Deeds
Registry of Deeds

Crucial documents showing the county’s history will get a new home in the city if a planning application is approved next week.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service is seeking planning permission for a new purpose-built facility on the site of the former Crown House, off Kirkgate.

Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee are expected to approve the plans for the three-storey building at Thursday’s meeting.

The council has been looking for a new home for the service following an inspection carried out by the National Archives in 2011.

It found that the Registry of Deeds building on Newstead Road, where the archives are currently kept, was “not fit for purpose.”

It also said repairing the building would cost an estimated £11m.

The historical documents include archives of the Wakefield district, county records of the West Riding and West Yorkshire, and the archives of the Wakefield Church of England diocese.

A report to Thursday’s meeting said: “On balance, it is considered that the proposal is acceptable in principle and is acceptable in terms of the appearance and impact upon the visual amenity of this site and surrounding area.

“The proposal is considered to be acceptable and approval of planning permission is recommended.”