Leeds derelict mills flat plan

Two derelict mills in Morley are to be given a new lease of life after Leeds planners agreed there were sufficient grounds to overlook guidelines which could have prevented either project from going ahead.

Both Alliance North West Ltd and AHF Projects had approached the authority with new bids for plans to convert the empty buildings into flats.

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The principle of housing had already been accepted, but the council's own rules stipulated a proportion of each site would need to be dedicated to affordable housing while both developers would have to hand over cash to pay for the creation of green space.

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But the city council's East Plans Panel has agreed a bid for 33 ordinary flats at Park Mills on South Street and 42 flats, two houses and garages at South Queen Street Mill can both go ahead – albeit with some conditions.

Councillors were told the current economic climate meant building affordable homes wasn't a viable option on either site but agreed new homes were a better option than allowing the old buildings to decay any further.

However, Alliance North West Ltd and AHF Projects will still have to pay towards the creation of additional green space in the area - although the size of the contribution will be reduced.

If either project is not substantially complete within the next two years, planning officers will also request a second economic assessment and will have the right to revise the agreement with regard to affordable housing if conditions are more favourable.

Although some residents expressed concerns over a lack of parking on South Queen Street, Morley Town Council supported both applications.

Coun Robert Finnigan, who sits on the city council's Plans Panel, said: "I was pleased colleagues across Leeds saw the importance of supporting both proposals and the benefits they will bring to Morley in these difficult economic times."

Morley independent, Coun Terry Grayshon added: "It was vital to do all we could to redevelop these eyesore sites and to regenerate both locations. Morley's parks and green spaces will also benefit as will local people who are to be employed on the sites."

Stephen Blake of the CMA  Photo: Vikki Ellis

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