Homes plan for derelict Leeds eyesore

Kirkstall District Centre.
Kirkstall District Centre.
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Ambitious plans to revitalise an eyesore in Leeds with new homes are to be brought before council chiefs.

Kirkstall District Centre has been derelict for more than 15 years, according to Leeds City Council, with only a small number of units such as Harvard Mills occupied.

Artisan Real Estate UK Limited wants to create 266 apartments and 35 town houses.

The council’s executive board, which comprises of decision-making cabinet members, is due to consider whether to declare authority-owned land at the site “operationally surplus” on Wednesday.

Officers have also recommended the council approve the disposal of its freehold interest in the site to the developer – effectively paving the way for a regeneration plan.

A report drafted for members by council officers Mark Mill and Paul Fleming reads: “Once vibrant, the centre included a number of businesses including post office, public house, library and independent discount supermarket.

“Many of these businesses [or] uses have closed and the site now creates a negative image of the area and does little to contribute to the local economy and surrounding neighbourhoods.”

The site was acquired by Tesco, which submitted a planning application in 2011 for a new supermarket. According to the report, the proposals had not been pursued and Tesco instructed agents to market the site for disposal because of changes in the retail sector.

Placed on Kirkstall Lane next to a busy junction and a leisure centre, the derelict plot is a common sight for motorists and the area’s residents.

The council’s report notes that the housing proposal presents “a timely and exciting opportunity to redevelop a brownfield site”.