Milestone for east Leeds housing and growth plans
Plans for the development of east Leeds through an ambitious housing programme involving 5,000 new houses and a new dual carriageway road will pass an important milestone next week.
A report seeking agreement for the next steps for the East Leeds Extension (ELE) and the East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR) will go before members of Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday 21 October.
The ELE is the largest single green-field housing site in the Leeds city region and it will play a crucial role in helping to meet one of the biggest challenges the city faces – to provide enough homes to meet Leeds’ growing population.
It involves the council working with a range of landowners, developers, agencies and the government, to secure land and promote investment for the housing and wider economic and infrastructure improvement plans for that area of east Leeds.
A key element of the scheme is the sale of the council’s 29-acre Red Hall site, which currently houses the Parks and Countryside service’s horticultural nursery. A separate report to the executive board will seek approval for the relocation of the nursery to a new purpose-built and more efficient facility at Whinmoor Grange.
The whole East Leeds Extension scheme will support the city’s wider economic regeneration plans for that part of the city. The council is currently working with developers and investors to promote the continued development of the nearby Thorpe Park business and retail site and the Northern Quadrant housing development plans on land between the A58 and A64.
At their meeting on Wednesday, senior councillors will be asked to note progress on the scheme, the overall direction of travel and agree the launch of a public consultation in November to get the views of residents, landowners, businesses and other agencies and organisations.
Events will be held in local nearby communities across east Leeds to involve people in the planning, design and delivery process and ensure that the new development meets the needs of existing and new residents and businesses.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said:
“The East Leeds Extension and Orbital Road will bring houses, jobs, employment opportunities and transport improvements, not just to east Leeds, but to the wider city. It will play a vital role in Leeds’s continued economic growth and success. The opportunities across this area are of a scale that can be matched in very few places across the country.
“This is an important update setting out the direction of travel and the crucial next steps to delivering this exciting, ambitious and complex scheme.
“In the next few months, we envisage there will be much more detail on the proposals coming forward and we want to hear the views of local residents and businesses to ensure they have every opportunity to be informed and to influence the plans for the area.”
Notes to Editors:
The consultation for the East Leeds Extension and East Leeds Orbital Road will follow the city-wide public consultation which is currently taking place on the city’s 16-year site allocations development plan. The site allocations consultation closes on the 16 November. For more information visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Site-Allocations-Development-Plan-Document-(LDF).aspx
Thorpe Park: While not forming part of the East Leeds Extension, Thorpe Park is a key part of the overall growth potential of this area. The site already accommodates 56,000 square metres of office space and has outline planning approvals in March 2014, with variations in April 2015, to enable the delivery of the next phase of growth. This will include a further 84,000 square metres of office development, 20,000 square metres of leisure uses, 18,000 square metres of retail and 300 new homes and potentially a further 13,000 jobs.
In August 2015, it was announced that Legal & General had taken a 50% stake in the delivery vehicle for the site, Thorpe Park Developments Ltd, reportedly for an equity investment of £162m.
Northern Quadrant: A consortium of developers and landowners submitted an outline planning application in July 2012 for the construction of 2,000 homes, community facilities, open space and a section of ELOR on land between the A58 and A64, known as the Northern Quadrant. The council has been working with the applicant and with local community groups to address issues such as the layout of highways, the impact on local traffic, and the location and provision of green space.
Red Hall: The Red Hall site is located between the Outer North Ring Road and A58 Wetherby Road. The majority of the land is in council ownership and includes the council’s horticultural nursery and depot facilities (17ha) and playing fields and open space (11ha), though the original Red Hall House and stables (1ha) are owned and occupied by the Rugby Football League as its headquarters. The 2006 Unitary Development Plan Review allocated the land for both housing and a key business park, within the ELE. The principle of wholly residential use across the whole of the Red Hall site was put forward in the Site Allocations (Issues & Options) consultation undertaken in June/July 2013 and is now proposed as the allocated land use here through the Site Allocations Plan Publication Draft, with consultation on that plan currently underway.
Southern and Middle Quadrants: To help ensure that development comes forward in a co-ordinated way for the section of the East Leeds Extension between the A64 and the Leeds-York-Selby railway line, the council is in the process of preparing a Supplementary Planning Document. This document will primarily focus on the way in which the council expects planning applications to come forward, mechanisms to pay for the East Leeds Orbital Route and the way community facilities and infrastructure such as schools should be brought forward.
Initial consultation will seek views about the content of the document and the main issues it should address, before comments are sought on a draft of the document in spring 2016.
Manston Lane Development Sites: Alongside the ELE, at the former Vickers tank factory in Barnbow, a first phase of development of 121 units is currently underway by Bellway Homes, the remainder of the site currently being in the ownership of Zurich Financial Services. There is also planning approval for Ben Bailey Homes to develop 138 new homes on the adjoining former Optare factory site. There is potential for development of around 620 further homes on the remainder of the two sites (879 in total), subject to the completion of the Manston Lane Link Road and further planning applications.