An office development which will kickstart a sprawling £300m regeneration masterplan at Kirkstall Forge has been given the green light.
Planning committee members from Leeds City Council have given the go-ahead for the 167,200 sq ft seven storey office building, which is part of the first phase of development on the site.
Commercial Estates Group (CEG) is the developer for the 23-hectare brownfield site that will deliver new homes, offices, restaurants, a gym, crèche and other facilities.
Some 2,400 new jobs are expected to be created as a result and the £300 million overall scheme will enable almost 10,000 people to live and work on the site by 2020.
The scheme was given unanimous approval by a decision-making panel at a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall.
Nick Lee, from CEG, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring this will be an exemplar scheme and the team is delighted with the positive comments made by planning committee members in relation to the design and overall vision for the site. This decision means we can be on site early in the New Year with the first phase of development.”
CEG will invest £10 million in affordable housing, education and transport improvements as part of the wider Kirkstall Forge redevelopment.
The masterplan will also include a new rail station at Kirkstall Forge and a second station at Apperley Bridge.
The scheme has received a cash injection of £10.3 million from the Department for Transport (DfT) and an additional a £5 million private sector contribution and funding from West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Building work on the station, which include an access road, will begin later this month and will complete by late 2015.
Jon Kenny, director of CEG, explained: “Ultimately, the Kirkstall Forge development will offer prime office space and new homes with fantastic facilities in a stunning riverside, woodland location with unsurpassed transport connections into Leeds, Bradford and the Yorkshire Dales.”
Further reserved planning matters will be submitted over the next few months.