Plans for 'State-of-the-art' new facility at a Leeds hospital

Plans to demolish buildings and replace them with a new pathology lab at St James’s Hospital are set to go before council planning chiefs next week.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 5:26 pm
Updated Friday, 7th August 2020, 3:14 pm

A report by Leeds City Council officers claims the plans involve demolishing vacant buildings on the site to provide a new pathology facility. It adds that although the details of the building are yet to be revealed, it is expected to include more than 5,600 square metres of floorspace over two levels.

The new building would, according to the document, house all the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust’s pathology requirements, and would allow the trust to bring together services from both St James and Leeds General Infirmary, bringing together biochemistry, haematology, immunology, microbiology and cytology facilities.

A pre-application for the site went before members of the plans panel back in November 2019. Members made comments on issues around car parking and landscaping.

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An artist's impression of the new lab.

The council report states: “The proposed building and the use therein, would be sited fully within the (hospital) grounds and would complement, support and enhance existing health care services.

“As such the proposal to create a new Pathology building on the proposal site is considered to be fully compliant with policy which encourages the provision of community facilities and this includes health uses.”

It added the proposals involve the creation of ‘state of the art’ services

building, and that this would require the demolition of the existing 20th century buildings at the site.

“The buildings are unremarkable in appearance and layout and have limited architectural and historic merit,” it claimed “These buildings are also not listed. Their layout and scale would prevent them from being adapted for use for pathology services, which has very specific floor space and layout requirements.”

The report concluded that the plans were considered acceptable, adding: “The proposal would allow the creation of clinic accommodation that will enable St James University Hospital to consolidate and centralise its Pathology services and assist the NHS Trust to ensure the most advanced technologies, equipment and treatments are made available to all patients.”

A full application is expected to be submitted in the coming months, which will include more details about the design and scale of the building.

A meeting of Leeds City Council’s north and west plans panel is set to discuss the plans on Thursday, August 13.