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Work begins to clear former DRI site

Published 22/10/2014
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Work to clear the site of the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary is set to begin by the end of October.

Since services were moved in 2010 from London Road to the Royal Derby Hospital, part of the remaining site was redeveloped and reopened as the London Road Community Hospital, providing ambulatory care and rehabilitation.

But the majority of the land, and the buildings on it, were closed down and have subsequently remained disused.

Now, after the Trust secured a £3.7 million loan from the Department of Health, work to clear that land and many of the buildings on it is getting underway.

Derby Hospitals has employed a contractor to remove asbestos from the land and buildings on London Road, in preparation for further work in the new year.

Although the asbestos clearance work is expected to take about eight months, a demolition contractor is set to be appointed, with work to clear the site expected to commence in January, in those areas already cleared of asbestos.

Several of the buildings on the site are listed and will therefore be retained. They include Wilderslowe House and Lodge, the statues of Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria and the fence and wall which runs along London Road.

The Trust has also made it a planning condition that the London Road frontage supporting two pairs of “onion” shaped domed roofs are retained and incorporated into any future development.

The 18-acre site has recently been remarketed in its entirety and is currently attracting interest from a number of national and local developers.

Paul Brooks, Director of Facilities for Derby Hospitals, said: “While this is the start of an exciting new development in Derby, we are aware it is marks the end of an era for the city and for Derby Hospitals.

“We are therefore making sure we preserve important memorabilia from the site, along with those iconic buildings, so that the legacy of the DRI can continue into the future.

“We are making dust and noise suppression a real priority in choosing a firm to carry out the demolition and will ensure that this work is carried out safely and with as little disruption as possible to residents nearby and patients and visitors to London Road Community Hospital.”

Last Modified 22/10/2014