Flood-hit Leeds Kirkstall Road industrial site could become homes

The 2015 floods close to the site intended for development.
The 2015 floods close to the site intended for development.

A former Leeds industrial site which was vacated after the Boxing Day floods carnage in 2015 could be re-developed into homes.

A developer wants to create a “new major residential scheme” at the former ThyssenKrupp site at the corner of Kirkstall Road and Viaduct Road – land which the applicant has already bought.

Prospect Estates is due to deliver its “pre-application” information about the plan to Leeds City Council members on Thursday at the City Plans Panel meeting.

Jobs were axed when German-owned engineering firm ThyssenKrupp Woodhead Leeds quit the 1.73 hectares site, near to the Chinese Christian Church, in April 2016 following the floods – a move which the Unite union described at the time as a “very poor and flimsy excuse”, adding that it was a “solid profitable company”.

The building’s parameters are visible to the many motorists who pass it on the busy Kirkstall Road – a key site affected the floods which cost the city an estimated £36.8m – every day.

A report drafted for councillors sitting on this week’s panel reads that proposals comprise four new buildings between four and nine storeys high “located around a central open space”. One of these is planned to front Kirkstall Road, relating in scale at one end to the red brick church building and “rising in height to address the prominent” point where it meets the Viaduct Road corner.

It is currently proposed that 254 homes be created at the site, and the report reads that one building facing on to Viaduct Road could “potentially able to accommodate another 40 to 60 units, albeit these are outside the pre-application site area”.

But the developers may have to note the Kirkstall Road Renaissance Area Planning Framework, an informal guide for planners which “aims to promote the regeneration of the area in a manner which will establish a real sense of place and guide developers in formulating proposals for the re-development of land using positive urban design principles”.

The site is also close to another vacant Kirkstall Road plot which is set to be transformed into more than 1,300 homes and public space at the now-demolished old Yorkshire Chemical Works, if developer Clyde Ltd’s two-part ‘City Reach’ plans are successful.

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