DEVELOPERS proposing to expand a key Leeds business park with a scheme that includes shops and a supermarket have been warned they must overcome major planning hurdles to get planning permission.
Thorpe Park, next to junction 46 of the M1 in east Leeds, has 600,000 sq ft of offices and planning consent for 1.2m sq ft more.
Scarborough Development Group has drawn up plans for the next phase that includes a supermarket, shops, cafes, bars, parkland and leisure uses including a hotel and more offices.
Managing director Mark Jackson said the proposals could create over 6,000 jobs.
At a pre-planning application presentation, he told the council’s east plans panel: “We need to create these amenities. We believe that will stimulate the demand for the office space on the site.”
He said there was a strong demand for food stores and, if approved, the supermarket would provide money for a start on the Manston Lane Link Road, linking Cross Gates to the M1.
Councillors are keen for work on the road to get under way.
A report to the panel said while small scale shops might be acceptable depending on the detail, many of the proposed alternative uses were contrary to local and national planning policies relating to out of town shopping. They would have to be fully justified if they were to be supported.
Coun Tom Leadley (Morley Borough Independent, Morley North) told the developers: “You have got so far with the business park but now there is not much demand for more offices so now you have come for out-of-town retail. You are arguing a special case for your project but others would want to do the same and I find that worrying. We could be setting a precedent.”
Coun David Congreve, panel chairman, said: “As it stands there is a massive issue about policy.”
A planning application is expected within the next month.