Campaigners unite in bid to save 'exceptional' Victorian home from being turned into flats

Spenfield House in Leeds was admired by the poet John Betjeman

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The Independent Online

One of the best preserved Victorian homes in the north of England, whose magnificent interiors were admired by poet John Betjeman, is under threat, campaigners say, due to plans to convert the building into flats.

Leeds Civic Trust has  joined forces with the Victorian Society to try to save the Grade II*-listed Spenfield House, which they said would “ideally” be a new museum for the city.

An emergency public meeting is to be held on Monday in an attempt to explain its importance and to form a “friends of Spenfield House” group. 

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The house in Far Headingley, Leeds, was built in 1875, and according to the Victorian Society has “exceptionally ornate interiors”.

After periods as a conference centre and a catering school it was recently sold and is now out of use.

Owners Round Strategies have applied for planning permission to split  the house into six apartments.

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Kevin Grady, director of the Leeds Civic Trust, said the group was “extremely concerned”. “It should be a jewel in the crown of Leeds’ heritage,” he said.

A spokesman for Round Strategies has previously told the Yorkshire Evening Post that they have worked closely with Leeds City Council on the plans, which they said had been approved by English Heritage.

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