Plans for a major new industrial park on a former open mining site in East Leeds – part of a major business regeneration project – could be delayed for years after project bosses failed to attract interest from potential tenants.
The proposals for Temple Green, on 63 hectares of land to the south of the East Leeds Link Road, were already agreed in principal by planning chiefs back in 2011.
The project is part of the Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone, which includes four new large-scale manufacturing, distribution and office developments.
Hopes are high that the overall 142-hectare project will drive investment and growth, pump £550m into the Leeds economy and provide up to 7,000 new jobs.
However applicants Keyland and Aire Valley Land have now requested a two-year extension to the original five-year deadline to gain planning permission.
It means a detailed blueprint for the scheme won’t even materialise until 2020.
A report to be presented to the North and East Leeds Plans Panel tomorrow, says: “Since the 2011 determination, the applicant has not been able to find operators for the sites or any of the proposed units, and the continued economic downturn has made things difficult.
“There are significant costs involved in remediating the site so that it is ready for development, so speculative development is not economically feasible.
“The landowners therefore want to remove or minimise their liabilities in relation to timescales.”
Enterprise zones were introduced by the Government to encourage private sector growth by offering businesses reduced rates and simplified planning rules.
Aire Valley Leeds was chosen as the location for the Leeds City Region zone.
The report to the plans panel says: “This is a large employment development site that will benefit from Enterprise Zone funding streams and will significantly add to the regeneration aims for the Aire Valley.”