500-homes plan for former Leeds hospital land

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AN initial blueprint for 500 new homes on land which was formerly part of Seacroft Hospital has been sent back to the drawing board with a “could do better” message from council planning chiefs.

The development of the 17-hectare site is part of a wider Government initiative to dispose of and develop surplus public land.

Earlier this year, several vacant hospital buildings were demolished, except for the Grade II listed clock tower.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel this afternoon (Thursday), developers Keepmoat and Strata unveiled an initial design for the site, which is split between a large mass of green, previously undeveloped land to the west and brownfield land to the east.

A large part of the eastern end of the site is also being kept back as a potential secondary school site.

Councillors raised various concerns, including the amount of green space and provision of housing aimed at older people.

Drainage issues - linked to flooding risks from the nearby Wyke Beck - were also highlighted as an area to be looked at.

The development will bring £900,000 of community infrastructure contributions via the new CIL (community infrastructure levy).

Appraising the initial designs, councillor Kevin Ritchie said: “There is more work to be done on it really.”

Local Labour councillor for Killingbeck and Seacroft Graham Hyde told the panel that residents were keen for green space and primary school provision to be key considerations in a future full planning application.

“This is a major regeneration scheme and residents want it right,” he said.

A consultation event will be held on September 23. Further details are to be confirmed.