A Victorian hotel which once provided the inspiration for a novel is to be converted into flats.
The former Stoneleigh Hotel on Doncaster Road, Belle Vue, Wakefield, was the home of the mother of legendary author George Gissing and it was while visiting her that he had the idea for his classic A Life’s Morning.
Built in 1880 as a row of terrace houses, it became a hotel in the middle of the last century and remained so until 2006. Developers have two years to complete the scheme, which was approved a by planners about a year ago. A previous scheme to turn the building into a nursing home was approved and work began in 2008 but was soon halted due to financial issues.
The new scheme is led by Abdul Hussein who will pay £75,000 towards the cost of providing affordable housing in the Wakefield district under a planning agreement.
Mr Hussein has promised that the character of the exterior of the old hotel terrace would be mainly retained.
It is envisaged that the first 20-flat phase of the development will be opened in September this year and a second phase of a further seven flats is planned for later.