DEVELOPERS behind a plan to create a Marks & Spencer supermarket and a pub on a former NHS hospital have applied for planning permission to transform the site.

Jomast Developments and the retailing giant are seeking listed building consent for the demolition of a ward at the Rutson Hospital, on Northallerton High Street, which closed in 2008, and an office and residential buildings.

Hambleton District Council has also been asked to approve the building of a foodstore, and permit the grade II listed properties at 78 and 79 High Street to be used as a pub and the building of a glazed extension to the rear, a car park and landscaping works.

Caroline Hardie, the author of a report into site's heritage significance, said: "The Georgian buildings are significant for the contribution they make towards the street scene, but just as importantly, the fine panelled and plasterwork interiors which are an unusual survival in a townhouse.

"Not all of the Georgian interiors are equally important however. The rooms at the north end of the range are more altered and therefore less sensitive to further change."

A spokesman for the developers said the existing listed buildings, which were used for town’s Quarter Sessions from 1720, would be retained, conserved and enhanced.

He added: "Later additions and extensions to the east of these buildings, including the 1890s Dundas Memorial Wing, curtilage buildings along Friarage Street, and the 1990s ward building, are proposed to be demolished."

He said the demolition was necessary to create space for the foodstore.

The council is expected to consider the application in the autumn.