Leeds eyesore to get makeover

Plans to transform a Leeds city centre riverside eyesore into a new "urban quarter" have been given the go-ahead.

Developer Gladedale is bidding to spend tens of millions of pounds at the former Yorkshire Chemicals site in Kirkstall Road on the western fringe of the city centre.

They plan to build between 1,000 and 1,400 flats, 20 houses and 31,000 sq m of offices along with local shops, restaurants, pubs and health centre.

Public squares are also included and a new pedestrian and cycle bridge will link to an island on which homes and a nature trail are proposed. The island lies between the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

Island access for vehicles will be off the Wellington Road industrial estate road. The island will be fully pedestrianised with vehicles taken into a basement car park.

A total of 14 buildings will be built as part of the scheme and 1,382 parking spaces provided.

The council's city centre plans panel backed the scheme and agreed officers could grant outline planning consent once a legal agreement relating to public transport improvements, affordable housing and other issues had been signed.

The outline plan covers access arrangements and the siting of the buildings. Full design details will be included in a later application. The report to the panel said the development could prove to be a catalyst for further investment in the area.

Coun Elizabeth Nash (Lab, City and Hunslet) said: "The sooner this scheme gets the go ahead the better because the area is an eyesore."

Coun Jamie Matthews (Lib Dem, Headingley) said "he was broadly supportive of the plan and he felt that – unlike Clarence Dock – the development would have plenty of green space."

Coun James Monaghan (Lib Dem, Headingley) said the brownfield site was ideal for development.

Coun Neil Taggart (Lab, Bramley) added: "I hope it actually happens."

Yorkshire Chemicals went into receivership in 2004 and the factory was demolished in 2007.


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