Abandoned Edwardian hospital in Leeds could be converted into apartments

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A derelict former infirmary could get a new lease of life if plans to convert it into flats are given the go-ahead.

The Old Leeds Dispensary on North Street was built in 1904 and operated as a kind of pre-NHS accident and emergency unit before it closed in 1971. The building was then taken on by the Leeds Deaf and Blind Society, but has been vacant for several years.

See inside this abandoned Leeds military hospital in Chapel Allerton
The Grade II-listed hospital was built to replace several earlier infirmaries and 'houses of recovery' which were situated in the Vicar Lane area.

Now called Centenary House, developers Avenue A have submitted plans to convert the three-storey building into 84 apartments with a commercial unit on the ground floor.

A previous application for a smaller number of flats was approved in 2017, but revisions to the proposals have now been made.

See inside abandoned Cookridge Hospital
Although the building had 33 parking spaces when it was occupied by the charity, according to the application this would be reduced to just two once the apartments are completed.

Many Leeds residents remember the dispensary as being an austere and unwelcoming building that eventually became unsuitable for modern medical services.

Several 'ghost tours' have been organised by paranormal investigators keen to find out more about the hospital's 'haunted' past. Urban explorers have also gained access to the building recently.

It's not the only former hospital in Leeds that is currently being converted for residential use. Gledhow Grove in Chapel Allerton was used by the army in both world wars, having been originally built as a mill owner's mansion. The NHS vacated the site in 1994 and services transferred to the the modern hospital nearby. Work has now started to transform the Victorian building into apartments.