Work will start tomorrow to develop the derelict St Edmund’s Hospital in Northampton, it has been revealed.
The last remaining issues over planning permission should be resolved in the next two weeks but after the Chronicle & Echo publicised the concerns over public safety and the long-term future of the site, work to make it safe will start immediately.
In a statement issued to the Chron tonight, Northampton Borough Council welcomed the development.
A spokesman said: ““Following the applications for planning permission and listed building consent being approved in principle in June last year, officers have been working closely with the applicant to resolve the outstanding issues relating to drainage and the demolition of the buildings at the back of the site.
“The information about these issues needed to grant permission has now been submitted by Kayalef Ltd, and is currently being assessed by officers. Permission is likely to be issued within two weeks.
“However, given the pressing concerns about public safety and the long term future of the site, the Council has agreed with Kayalef that work can start on site immediately, securing and clearing the site before commencing its re-development,” he added.
A spokesperson for Kayalef, Ashley Riley, added: “We are pleased that following a great deal of hard work behind the scenes, demolition work can now get underway as we move onto the next phase of this important project.
“St Edmund’s is a complex project with complex issues regarding listings, feasibility and demands on converting 19th century buildings to meet the needs of the 21st century.” he added. “We’d like to thank local people for their patience over recent months who we know have shared our frustrations over the condition of the site.
“The last thing any of us has wanted is another failed application. Therefore as these schedule of demolition works get underway we will continue to work in partnership with Northampton Borough Council towards submitting full planning permission in due course.”
Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Planning at Northampton Borough Council, said: “We have worked with the owners of St Edmund’s and supported them to move forward with St Edmund’s, and are pleased that they intend to start work tomorrow morning.
“We have been very frustrated about the lack of visible progress on the site, and also concerned about the potential risk to public safety of this unsecured building. I am delighted that the re-development of this important site appears to be making progress.”