The creation of a controversial supermarket in north Leeds has moved one step closer after Morrisons confirmed it had bought a derelict building.
The long-running bid by the Bradford-based supermarket giant to turn the derelict Allerton House site into a new store has attracted fierce opposition from campaigners who fear it will destroy the area.
The Keep Chapel Allerton Special (KCAS) group claimed the proposed supermarket would bring extra congestion and pedestrian safety issues but Morrisons’ plans were given the green light by Leeds councillors last year.
Now the supermarket chain has confirmed it has bought the former Allerton House site, paving the way for the new foodstore to be built - which will create 100 jobs. Chapel Allerton councillor Jane Dowson (Lab) said the news was a disappointment but residents knew something needed to be done with the run-down site, which is in the middle of an attractive shopping area.
“I think local residents are sick and tired of the derelict state of the site. They still would rather it was a park or a green area but they’re realistic now.
“Byut everyone is really disappointed the building is going to be at the front not the back of the site. So the disappointment is on two levels. People didn’t want it to happen in the first place, and if it was going to be built, they would have rather it was on the back.” Bosses at the chain said the store has been “carefully designed” to respect the integrity of Chapel Allerton Conservation Area as well as meeting the needs of the community and providing a “real boost” to the town centre.
James Smith, Morrisons development executive, said: “This is great news for Morrisons, and great news for Chapel Allerton.
“We worked hard to design the right scheme for the site, and I’m delighted to take the next step forward in delivering the new store. The store will be a real asset for the local community, providing Morrisons popular fresh food offer and a great range of everyday essentials, creating up to 100 new local job opportunities and revitalising a prominent – but derelict – site.”