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Wolverhampton's eyesore eye infirmary to finally be cleared up after standing derelict for more than 10 years

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Hospital bosses are being ordered to tidy up the derelict former eye infirmary in Wolverhampton, which has stood empty for more than 10 years.

How the site looks currently

The dilapidated hospital in Compton Road closed in 2007 and is still owned by the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

But the trust has now been served with a planning enforcement notice to maintain the building due to its condition. An action plan has been provided by the trust to Wolverhampton council, which issued the order.

Years of fires and vandalism have left the building badly damaged. Most of its windows are smashed.

Residents have complained that wooden boardings around the site often come down due to break-ins and the weather.

The current state of the old eye infirmary

Councillor Claire Darke, for Park ward, attended a recent meeting with the NHS trust.

She said: “It is disappointing we have reached this stage – nothing has moved forward for several years.

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“The site has the potential for redevelopment, but right now it is an eyesore in the community.

“It is now really about the NHS selling the land for a developer to move in.

“It would be great for Chapel Ash to have either living or retail space at the site.”

The site has become Wolverhampton’s biggest eyesore following years of failed attempts at redevelopment.

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Plans have been put on the table to redevelop the hospital since its closure.

In 2012 a new care home was proposed but negotiations broke down between the developer and the council.

Fire ravaged

Two supermarkets and an office block were also mooted for the site but came to nothing.

It has been ravaged by fire on several occasions, including in 2013 when three men who were sleeping rough had to be rescued from the building.

The hospital trust has spent more than £300,000 on security at the site since its closure.

The eye infirmary opened in 1888, but closed when services were moved to New Cross Hospital.

The order requires the trust to clear rubbish, cut back vegetation and repair or replace broken windows and doors.

A spokesman for Wolverhampton council said: “The trust has responded positively to the notice and has set out initial actions to tidy up the site.”

A spokesman for the hospital trust said: “The trust is working with the council to ensure the site is kept secure.”

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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