THE ARCHITECTURAL landscape of north Otley is undergoing a dramatic change as redevelopment of the town's old hospital continues apace.

Permission for 61 homes to be created on the Newall Carr Road site, whose former Wharfedale General Hospital buildings have been standing empty for years, was granted last winter.

Workmen are now pushing ahead with the PJ Livesey Group development which, according to the advertising board that has gone up, will provide "luxury living in a historic setting".

The scheme will include a mixture of new-build properties and converted flats.

The former hospital's Grade II Listed buildings are being retained but many of the more modern additions have been demolished.

Local councillors, reacting to the planning approval last December, welcomed the fact that the long derelict collection of buildings - which stand close to the current Wharfedale Hospital - would finally be redeveloped.

But they also lamented the low number of affordable homes included in the scheme - just three, which falls far below the 35 per cent guideline Leeds City Council's planners usually try to secure.

Otley Town Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: "It is good that the old hospital site is taking shape.

"There's been a lot of discussion about developing 'brownfield' sites before greenfield - and the former hospital site certainly falls into the former category.

"We're glad that the historic core is being sympathetically restored. Obviously the town council wanted to see more affordable properties in the development, but it is good that work is now well underway."

A total of 27 houses, eight flats, and 26 new homes are being built.

The developer has agreed to pay a £56,173 contribution for public transport improvements near the site and and provide a £25,200 Metro Card scheme for the residents.