Plans for a city centre park have been backed by all sides of the political spectrum in Leeds this afternoon.
At a meeting of the Executive Board it was agreed that Leeds City Council could press ahead with the proposals to form legal agreements between the authority and Vastint, the landowners of the earmarked site which used to be the Tetley Brewery.
Leaders of both opposition groups urged the council to get on with it as the idea has been in the pipeline for years.
Coun Andrew Carter, leader of the Conservatives, said: "We need this decent size area of proper park in place as soon as possible, we have talked about it for a long time. I know land assessments take time and no-one expected it to be there tomorrow but I have expressed concern that this has shrunk and I hope we progress it before it shrinks any further."
He was backed by Coun Stewart Golton, leader of the Lib Dem group who added: "I welcome this and the urgency of achieving something that is quite big in ambition especially in a city where land values are very high. Getting stakeholders to have a part is quite an achievement."
It is hoped that construction can start next year and the park will be created in a five year phased programme of works.
The park will be around 3.5 hectares in size when it is finished, with part of it running in an arc shape across the former Tetley brewery site. Council-owned land at Meadow Lane – near the Adelphi pub – would also be used in the creation of the park and a new footbridge could be built to provide a direct link between the park and green space at Sovereign Square area on the other side of the River Aire.
Coun Richard Lewis, the executive member for executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, told the meeting: "We have been talking about this for a number of years and talking rather than developing but that is how slow the world of development can be but we are moving into the delivery phase."