YP Letters: Hall nearly became police force headquarters

Oulton Hall.
Oulton Hall.
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From: Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Bramley, Leeds.

CONGRATULATIONS on the excellent two-page feature on Oulton Hall (The Yorkshire Post, March 6).

Its one omission concerns the moment of its greatest vulnerability when in 1974 the late Ronald Gregory, the first Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, wanted to demolish the hall in order to build a headquarters for the new West Yorkshire Police service on the site.

The Police Committee went on a site visit and, though it was by this time in a sorry state, it was clearly a very impressive building.

On my return to Leeds, I checked and was surprised to find that it was not then a listed building.

I immediately set in train the process to have it spot listed and this thwarted Gregory’s efforts to have it demolished. To put 
it mildly, he was not best 
pleased.

Its subsequent rescue and development as an upmarket hotel complex vindicated this action and demonstrated what can be done with historic buildings, whatever their state of neglect.