Wortley: Prospect House could be demolished before the end of July

7 July 2019

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Wortley’s historic Prospect House could be demolished by the end of July, according to a planning application to pull down the building, writes Keely Bannister.

A site notice states the demolition of the derelict property is expected to take place on 22nd July – unless advised by building control to demolish in advance.

The application form states that after the demolition there will be a “likely planning application for replacement building for use as apartments”.

The demolition of the historic building, which has a date stone from 1883 dating it at over 136 years old, will come just a few months after Leeds City Council gave the applicants MJT Developments Ltd planning permission to convert the building into seven flats and erect four new dwellings.

MJT Developments LTD had originally looked to demolish the building but – as reported in The Dispatch at the time – Leeds City Council planners had been lukewarm to the original plans, saying the proposals to demolish an important building had not been adequately justified.

A structural survey forming part of this current application sheds light on why the building is seemingly now to be demolished with such haste.

The survey, which was completed by Shepherd Gilmour Leeds, states that the building is in “an extremely bad and dangerous state of decoration and repair” and describes it as “unsafe”.

The survey concludes:

“The only safe way to make the building safe would be:-

“To take the remains of the roof and first floor ceilings down from cherry pickers/MEWP’s.
“Take down the rear gable wall and the rear of the left hand hall wall to ground floor level from the outside of the building. Doing this would then, however, leave the left hand wall unrestrained at the rear left hand corner of the building and temporary restraint would need to be provided by the scaffolding.
“Take down the internal walls to the hall to reduce the load onto the walls at basement level. This would also need to be done from outside the building. Temporary lateral restraint would need to be provided to the front wall by the scaffolding.

“This process would leave very little of the existing building remaining, just the front wall and the left and right hand elevations.”

Conditions were added to the previous planning approval for the conversion of the building after a bat roost was detected, but an ecologist visited the site on the 20th June and found no evidence of bats currently being present.

You can view all the documents in relation to the new planning application to demolish Prospect House here.

Cliff House latest

Former boys’ school and remand home Cliff House, in Fawcett Lane, was recently named in Save Britain’s Heritage’s new national buildings at risk list. The former mansion has been badly damaged by arson attacks over the years.

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Jo Reilly says:

My mum and i lived in half this house wjen it was a council miscellaneous property, back in 1974! We were on the ground floor and an Irish family with two boys lived upstairs.
I had blocked it out until I read this article!
I remember it had lots of original features but no heating or hot water then.