DLP Planning Ltd entered pre application discussions with the Local Planning Authority, in January 2016. With the information used to inform a formal outline planning application for demolition and redevelopment of the site within the St Johns Conservation Area in Wakefield. The redevelopment was to be phased over a 10 year time frame to allow several stages of fund raising for the new facilities which included a sports hall, swimming pool, performing arts centre, together with outside sports pitches and additional teaching facilities.
Clayton Hospital had been abandoned by the NHS in 2012, with the site left to become rundown and vandalised on several occasions. As the site falls within the Conservation Area and the buildings are locally listed, it was imperative the redevelopment proposals be robust and be subject to consultation. The planning case was made on public and economic benefits outweighing the harm resulting from demolition of a locally listed building (Paragraph 133 of the National Planning Policy Framework). The scheme would provide an attractive boulevard through the centre of the site, linking two main roads and providing a public square in the centre. The new teaching and sports facilities would also be made available to the public by way of a community use agreement. A robust design code and landscape masterplan was devised with DLP working closely with Bond Bryan and ARES Landscape Architects to demonstrate that the scale, design and materials used would be of high quality and in keeping with the Conservation Areas character.
An economic case was also presented, the Grammar School having 2000 pupils and over 500 members of staff are a key economic contributor to the City of Wakefield. In summary, the proposals would bring forward regeneration of dilapidated and under-utilised site, providing high quality facilities to the benefit of key employer in the local economy. For these reasons outline planning permission was granted at Planning Committee on 2nd August 2017.