The long-running saga over the future of an eyesore building in the centre of Chapel Allerton has taken another turn this week.
The former Allerton House on Harrogate Road is back on the market after current owner, Bradford-based supermarket chain Morrisons admitted it is now considering “all available options”.
It is the latest chapter in the decade-long story over plans for future of the building, which dates back to early 1930s.
Morrisons bought the site last year after controversially securing planning permission from Leeds City Council in 2013, despite objections by some residents that it would destroy the area and bring extra congestion and pedestrian safety issues.
But no work ever began on the site and now commercial property company Rapleys has advertised the building for sale.
Coun Jane Dowson (Lab, Chapel Allerton) said: “I think it’s shameful. The people of Chapel Allerton have lived long enough with this eyesore on their doorstep. Something needs to be built there - something to benefit the whole community.
“It’s disappointing, after all the hoo-har of the public meetings and such with residents. It was all basically a waste of time. We are having to start from stage one again with whoever decides they want to put down their funds on the site.”
Mike McGrath, chairman of Chapel Allerton Neighbourhood Plan (CANPLAN), said they had been in discussions with Morrisons over a possible buy-out of the building, for the benefit of the community - so were “annoyed” to see it now up for sale.
“July 3 is the closure date for bids so we’ve decided we don’t have time to put a realistic bid in.
“We have a right to be consulted over any development so we’re writing to the council to say when anyone starts talking to them, we want to be consulted at the earliest opportunity.
“We will also carry out some consultation about what people will like to see here. Hopefully at last, after 10 years in the very centre of the conservation area, we might get something other than a piece of rubble.”
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We are in the process of reviewing our new store requirements and as part of this process we need to consider all available options.
To help us undertake the review we have appointed property agents to fully explore all possibilities for the future of the Chapel Allerton site.
We appreciate that the community is keen to see the site progress and will be in a position to provide an update once we have concluded our review.”