Fears are growing that the old Huddersfield Infirmary will remain derelict for years even after a new Lidl supermarket has been built next to it which could be by the end of this year.

The demolition of the old Kirklees College buildings has uncovered the former Grade II listed hospital and shows how it’s been neglected over the years.

It’s believed to have been damaged inside by water getting in through holes in the roof, intruders and general neglect and is on Historic England’s Buildings at Risk schedule.

The site, known as Trinity One, is split into three different sections with only one of them – the three-acre supermarket site – being sold. It will soon become a Lidl supermarket after Kirklees Council granted planning permission.

This leaves the two other sections known as Plot 1 and Plot 2 up for sale which cover a further three acres combined but are massive redevelopment schemes.

Plot 1 is the former hospital which has full planning permission for 32 residential apartments and 10,000 square feet of office space.

Plot 2 has outline planning permission for up to 197 apartments and/or offices and covers almost 127,500 square feet. Access to this part will be from Portland Street.

Neither site needs to include affordable housing.

The plots are for sale with Leeds-based commercial estate agents and developers Fox Lloyd Jones who say the Lidl store could be open by Christmas, stating: “Lidl are expected to be on site in summer 2023 with a possible store opening around the end of 2023.”

They say the hospital could be turned into just apartments – 47 in all – but accept the fabric of the building needs urgent improvement work.

They state: “The office space would be suitable for a range of uses but also potential exists to revise the planning to achieve 47 apartments (subject to planning). A sizeable package of urgent repair works to this phase will be undertaken as part of the enabling works contract.”

Huddersfield Civic Society chairman David Wyles said: “We always wanted the site to be sold as a whole so the supermarket couldn’t be built without the rest of it being developed too to avoid exactly what’s happening now.

“It’s one of the major gateways and landmarks in Huddersfield next to the ring road and the former hospital is a magnificent building that’s an important part of Huddersfield’s heritage so could be transformed into a spectacular development.

“Since the old Kirklees College buildings were demolished in recent months the hospital can now be fully seen for the first time in many years and it’s clear it’s become neglected and derelict. Huddersfield Civic Society has been pushing for the building to be made watertight to prevent further damage.

“The supermarket is now going ahead but with the other two plots still for sale we could well be in a situation where we have a new Lidl supermarket next to one of Huddersfield’s finest landmark buildings in a derelict state for years which is what the society had feared would happen years ago.”

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.