St Edmund's Hospital, Northampton: Attempt to de-list derelict building
An attempt is being made to de-list a derelict former Northampton hospital which has been empty since 1998.
The St Edmund's Hospital site had been earmarked for redevelopment as offices and retirement homes, but it has recently been sold.
English Heritage confirmed it was looking at an application to remove the building's Grade II-listed status.
Northampton Borough Council said it had not been able to contact the building's new owners, who were based in Cyprus.
The Wellingborough Road site was built as a workhouse for the poor in 1836 and became a hospital in the 1930s.
The property developer Rochmills has sold the site to a Cypriot company called Kayalef Holdings.
Listed planning consent ran out yesterday, so the owners cannot do anything to it without the approval of the local planning authority.
Councillor Tim Hadland said: "It would have no consent for any development, but we need to contact the new owners to find a way forward for its regeneration.
"We're doing our best to engage with the owners and find out who they are."
Cyrus Manfared, who owns properties opposite the derelict site, said: "We need to be realists and look at this from an entrepreneur's point of view, and a property developer is not going to be crazy enough to salvage it."
Alan Clarke, local historian, said: "It's significant because it was designed by the pre-eminent architect George Gilbert Scott, but it's also a visceral connection with the past.
"Many people have memories of it as a hospital and those who've done family history research will have found relatives who had a place at the workhouse.
"It's worth preserving, but it requires imagination and creativity from developers to find a suitable use from the buildings and if it's de-listed then we're likely to see it flattened."
English Heritage said it was obliged to look at every application for de-listing, but it was not close to making any decision.