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Completion date set for £30m project to transform site of Wolverhampton's derelict eye infirmary

A £30 million project to transform the site of Wolverhampton's long-derelict eye infirmary will be completed by December 2025, according to new plans.

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An artist's impression of the scheme at the eye infirmary in Chapel Ash

BZ Property Holdings has been granted planning permission for a scheme at the site in Chapel Ash, which will be transformed into 75 apartments, alongside a special educational needs (SEN) school, an eating disorder clinic and shops.

Developers have now revealed new details for construction work at the site, which has been derelict for 15 years and has been targeted for arson and vandalism amid a series of failed proposals for redevelopment.

Under proposals signed off by council planners, demolition work will start imminently, with the OAE building, a public toilet block and the School of Nursing all set to be torn down, along with storage buildings and other outbuildings.

The site, which is contaminated with asbestos and Japanese Knotweed, will then be cleared and for the start of ground works.

The next phase, which is set to start in May will see the redevelopment of the former nurse’s home and an extension to create the Eating Disorder Clinic, along with the construction of the SEN school.

A final phase – due to commence in May 2024 – will see the redevelopment of the original eye infirmary building from 1888 into apartments.

Under planning constraints put forward by the council, the number of pupils at the SEN school "shall not exceed 100", while the retail section of the development must not include any fast food outlets unless written approval is granted by the council.

According to the proposals the entire scheme is scheduled to be completed by December 2025.

The site's iconic tower block was damages by fires in 2013 and 2019. It was taken over by BZ Property Holdings in April 2021 after a deal with the Wolverhampton Council's preferred bidder fell through.