Major plans for former Wakefield Express site includes flats, health centre and offices
A major redevelopment of the old Wakefield Express building site is being planned, which includes the opening of a health centre, retail and office space and more than 60 apartments.
The Southgate site, which was home to the newspaper for more than 150 years before its 2012 switch to Northgate, has been left derelict and continues to attract vandals.
Linfit Investments Ltd has submitted the ambitious plans to Wakefield Council’s planning department which could see the site’s old prints works demolished and a four-storey block of 50 apartments built, fronting onto Rodney Yard.
In addition, there are blueprints to internally refurbish the existing office block, Express House, including building an additional storey.
A health centre is being earmarked for the ground floor, along with office and retail space, with 12 flats proposed on the upper floors.
The developers are also looking to re-clad the external walls of the building due to its dated appearance.
A statement submitted on behalf of the developer says the plans will ‘continue to support the regeneration of the city centre’.
It continues: “The site has now been empty for some time.
“It is considered the redevelopment of the site will bring major benefits, including the provision of housing in a highly sustainable town centre location and breathing new life into this part of the city centre.”
Police recently released warnings to youths who had been breaking into the building and were spotted climbing onto the roof of Express House.
One nearby resident said: “It would only take one slip and somebody would be killed.
“They’ve obviously found a way in and they are going in there all the time, something needs to be done about it.”