Work starts on conversion of former Leeds war hospital

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Work has begun to convert a listed Leeds mansion and former war hospital into luxury housing.

Three years after first submitting a planning application, developers Ashcourt Homes have started work on the former Gledhow Grove mansion in Chapel Allerton.

The Grade II-listed building has been derelict for several years, although the surrounding land has become the Mansion Gate estate.

Ashcourt's proposal will see the Victorian stately home, which was built for flax mill owner John Hives in the 1830s, become three houses and three flats.

A further 12 new homes will be built in the grounds, which include a stable block and courtyard.

The mansion's dilapidated state means it requires extensive repairs and the demolition of the eastern wing - which was a later addition to the original house - to accommodate parking for 50 residents.

According to planning documents, the development will consists of eight four-bedroom homes, seven three-bedroom units and three two-bedroom flats.

After Hives vacated the property, Gledhow Grove became a military hospital specialising in the treatment of soldiers injured in World War One. Major advances in artificial limb technology were made there.

During World War Two, a bomb shelter was constructed in the basement, and additional wards and a nurses' home were built next to the mansion, on land which is now occupied by housing.

After the war the site passed into NHS ownership and continued to operate as a medical facility until 1994, when services were transferred to the new Chapel Allerton Hospital.

It was later used as office space, and the abandoned house subsequently became a magnet for urban explorers.

In 2008 a group discovered confidential patient records inside filing cabinets stored in the basement after the site had been cleared.

Ian Beaumont of KPMG

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