Plans to rebuild Leeds factory

Firefighters tackle blaze at Airedale International last year. Picture Tony Johnson
Firefighters tackle blaze at Airedale International last year. Picture Tony Johnson
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Proposals have been unveiled to build a new state-of-the-art factory after a devastating fire ripped through the site.

Airedale International Air Conditioning was destroyed by the inferno last year but plans have been submitted to rebuild the factory.

Proposals will see a new building replace the fire-damaged site on Leeds Road, in Rawdon, and the company hope to operate at the site by Autumn 2015.

The modern factory will cover 22,662 square metres of light industrial floorspace but it will be built 2.2 metres higher than the existing site.

The proposed entrance to the building will be relocated to the south of the site on the elevation facing New York Road.

A report to Leeds City Council’s west and south plans panel said: “The proposed building will be better quality and is an improvement in terms of design.

“This company is a major employer in the area employing a high number of local staff and the company has had to temporarily locate to another part of Leeds.

“The company wants to move back to this site as quickly as possible and there are significant economic benefits to the area.

“For all these reasons the application is supported.”

The company has temporarily moved to premises on Geldard Road following assistance from Leeds City Council since the blaze in September.

Local councillor Brian Cleasby said they are a valuable company in the area.

Coun Cleasby (Horsforth, Lib Dem) said: “It was a shock to find them faced with such a disaster.

“They are very good employers in the area and I am pleased that they are committed to stay where they are.

“But it is about making sure that people who live around here are happy with it.”

He said he hopes the business plant extra trees around the site to provide “screening” for residents who live nearby because of the increase in the building’s height.

Leeds, Sweet street, 28th March 1979'LIGHTING'Mr. Eddie Mullan, a lift engineer at the City of Leeds Public Works Department, Sweet Street, gives a last polish to one of the four old gas lamps that are to be sent to Germany.

Leeds nostalgia: Bits of old Leeds sent to Germany... in 1979