A housing development is giving a sprawling brownfield site in Cross Gates a new lease of life.
Bellway Homes’ The Limes project has been taking shape since last year on land surrounding the old Vickers Defence Systems factory.
The sprawling ex-munitions site off Manston Lane shut down in 1999. Since then, the site’s future has become quite the local talking point, without anything ever seeming to materialise on the land. But last year the diggers finally moved in and local residents have watched scores of new redbrick houses replace what had become an overgrown eyesore.
Ross Clarkson, divisional sales manager for Bellway in Yorkshire, said the homes were already proving popular for families putting down roots in Cross Gates.
He said: “We’ve had a great response since we opened the site office in September. In fact, in terms of visitors to the site, it’s been the highest Bellway have in the Yorkshire region.”
The first phase of the development has seen 45 houses built, a mixture of three and four bed detached properties.
It also includes affordable housing apartments. The next phase will see another 46 homes built on the site, with houses priced from just under £195,000 up to just under £375,000.
And developers hope that future projects in the area will make the homes even more attractive to buyers.
A new £100m East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR) is currently under consideration, with council bosses recently agreeing to a £150,000 feasibility study being carried out. The road would stretch from the Outer Ring Road at Red Hall, round the east side of Leeds, to Thorpe Park, joining a new Manston Lane link road close to The Limes.
That would link the housing development to an anticipated million square feet of office space, a supermarket and a hotel planned at the Thorpe Park business park, plans for which have been submitted to the council. The proposed development will create 10,500 jobs, including 6,500 employment opportunities for people in Leeds – all factors that could see those buying homes on The Limes site seeing a good return on their investment. Mr Clarkson added: “We can’t promise property prices will go up, but when the link road and other developments happen, I would expect them to rise.”
Local Labour councillor Pauleen Grahame said she and other ward members had worked closely with Bellway on the plans.
She said: “It’s good to see something happening on the site and we worked closely with Bellway to push for affordable housing and make sure the houses would be what local people wanted.
“We’re also hoping that long term we may get a new community centre and other local amenities. Bellway have been excellent to work with.”