New blueprint for Leeds supermarket scheme

The arrival of a massive new supermarket in a tired Leeds trade district is a step closer after a new blueprint of the proposed scheme was submitted to city planning bosses.

Initial plans for the 90,000 sq ft store on Carr Crofts in the heart of Armley were billed as a "major regeneration boost" for the area, bringing 400 jobs.

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But the first draft was rejected by locals during a consultation.

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So developer Morbaine went back to the drawing board and have now come back with a changed blueprint which will be presented to planning chiefs in February.

A spokesman for the company, which has designed megastores for big name supermarkets including Asda and Tesco, said "numerous" recent meetings with planning officers had led to some amendments to the original scheme.

He added: "Our public consultation has resulted in 90 per cent of respondents being in favour of the development, with 71 per cent saying that as a direct result of the store, they will shop in Armley and support its local shops.

"We have had numerous meetings with Leeds planners who have asked for more details in certain areas.

"Currently the site compromises a mixture of rundown or derelict buildings together with wasteland . The development represents a great improvement to this.

"The plans now submitted offer the opportunity to regenerate this entire area with a multi-million pound privately-funded development to build on the recent publicly-funded projects at the leisure centre and health centre."

In the revised proposals, the Carpet Mill building, formerly a chapel, is to be retained and refurbished.

New shop units will also sit on Carr Crofts, next to the brand new Town Square, which will link the foodstore directly with Town Street.

The previously planned petrol station will also be larger.

The site in Carr Crofts, opposite the new Armley Leisure Centre, currently houses a waste transfer station, a metal casting firm and workshops.

The Armley Spice restaurant would also go to make way for the new store.

Plans for the megastore – the retail giant which would run it is still un-named – would see it sit on stilts above a weatherproof car park, the petrol station and the new open town square.

The scheme has previously been welcomed by locals.

Town Centre manager Nigel Conder previously told the YEP it was "without doubt" good news for the area and would hopefully bring shoppers flooding back.

He said while the supermarket would likely affect some local businesses, the "overall benefits can not be understated".

GARETH THOMAS   Photo Andy Paradise

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