Plan to convert old Morley college into 28 homes

Joseph Priestley College, on Peel Street, Morley, closed in the summer of 2015.
Joseph Priestley College, on Peel Street, Morley, closed in the summer of 2015.

Plans have been unveiled to build new homes on the site of a former college.

The old Joseph Priestley College, situated on Peel Street, Morley, closed in summer 2015 due to a funding shortfall with all students moved to other campuses across Leeds.

Now the site has been earmarked by developers to build 28 new homes.

Proposals submitted by Morley-based developers Crosshall Developments consist of 22 houses and six flats.

According to Design and Access statement submitted as part of the plans, Crosshall have “extensive experience of converting and conserving important historic buildings in the area, including St Patrick’s Church in Birstall and Cross Hall School in Morley.”

It adds that “their intention, reflected in the design, is to maintain and enhance all the attractive elements of the existing building.”

Peter Baldwin, of Crosshall, said: “We want to utilise the existing footprint of the building so there will be no demolition whatsoever.

“We consider ourselves specialists in this kind of work, and have won awards for similar builds in West Yorkshire.”

Morley Borough Independent councillor Judith Elliott, who was vocal about saving the college, is optimistic about the proposals.

She said: “We would have preferred to have kept the college.

“However, once that was not possible our wish was to hope it gets developed into something attractive and is made to look good.

“We’re always looking for affordable housing to be made available and it would no doubt appeal to people locally, as long as any new development enhances the area.”

Neil Dawson, Labour councillor for Morley South, also backed the proposals provided they meet certain criteria.

He said: “In principle it’s a good idea.

“There’s a great demand for housing in Morley.

“My only concerns would be adequate parking in that area and affordable housing.

“Providing they are addressed, then I think it would be a good thing for the area.”