Formal plans to transform historic Armley Grange into a specialist school have been submitted to Leeds City Council.
Grade II-listed Armley Grange was bought last year from Leeds City Council by Horizon Care and Education for use as a specialist school for children aged seven to 19 years.
Horizon have now submitted a planning application to alter and refurbish the former mansion and day centre building.
It is intended the Mansion House building will form teaching spaces for the
older pupils and will stick to the current layout of the building, where possible. A design statement submitted by developers says:
“As part of the refurbishment work no existing walls will be removed to create teaching spaces. Instead lightweight partition walls are proposed, this will enable the building to function as an SEN school while retaining the existing form and safeguarding of the elements of historical interest.
“In all classrooms suspended ceilings are proposed, these form two functions. Firstly, the suspended ceiling is detailed to protect the cornice and ceiling roses. Secondly reducing the ceiling height helps to keep children feeling secure, contained and focused on lessons. Ceilings will terminate below [the] picture rails.”
The Mansion house will cater for between 20-30 students across two floors within the existing building footprint. 26 members of staff will work
across the annex and mansion.
The design statement concludes:
“The Mansion house as retained a number of original decorative interior features which should be preserved for future generation to enjoy, but it is also important to ensure the building does not fall into disrepair as a consequent of abandonment.
“There are several signs of deteriorations due to neglect already and with
every downpour further damage is cause to the historical fabric. We believe the proposed ‘conceal and protect’ approach provides the best opportunity for historical elements to remain in their current condition.”
The plans, submitted to Leeds City Council last week, can be viewed here.
Related works to the annex building and the site layout were approved by the council in March.
Armley Grange was built in the early 19th century but previous owners Leeds City Council had deemed it surplus to requirements. The building was sold at auction last October, with a guide price of £350,000.