A twenty-eight hectare horticultural hub in east Leeds, which has nurtured award-winning gardens including Chelsea Flower Show winners, is to be sold for housing development.
Leeds City Council has decided to sell off its Red Hall site and move its flagship plant nursery to a new £5m facility in Whinmoor.
The land is currently occupied by a plant nursery and horticultural facilities, as well as unused playing fields. Initial studies suggest the site could hold 375 new homes, which would sit alongside a potential 2,000 home development along the East leeds Extension area.
A report presented to the authority’s decision-making executive board this week said the Red Hall site is “one of the council’s most significant and valuable strategic holdings” but it has “strong potential in the medium term to realise a substantial capital receipt through disposal or development.
“The site has important strategic value to the council as a future capital receipt due to its location in an area of allocated housing growth,” the report said.
The nursery currently produces two million bedding plants and 250,000 ‘edibles’ a year, as well as holding community engagement events and being a centre for horticulture excellence and training.
The report added the relocation was “an opportunity to develop a brand new nursery that will be more efficient in design, accessibility and production”.
Councillors rubber-stamped the approval of the use of land at Whinmoor Grange for the new facility, as well as giving the initial go-ahead for a draft informal planning statement for the site to be prepared. Executive member for the environment, Councillor Mark Dobson, said the new Whinmoor nursery would be “a fantastic project” which would reflect current high standards whilst enhancing facilities.