‘Expect more compulsory purchases’ says Leeds council as Holbeck Urban Village vision continues to expand

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Leeds council bosses are pledging to do what they can to ensure a major new regeneration scheme in the south of the city lives up to its billing as one of Europe’s largest up and coming urban expansion plans - and that includes increased use of the authority’s compulsory purchase powers.

The city council is launching a six week public consultation on the Holbeck Urban Village scheme.

The authority’s executive board is next week expected to approve the start of the consultation, which relates to a key piece of paperwork for taking the sprawlig project forward - a supplementary planning document.

If approved, say council bosses, the document will aim to further boost the regeneration of one of the city’s most historic areas.

And among the key aims of the new guidance is to “highlight the council’s commitment to using compulsory purchase powers if needed to secure environmental, and economic improvements”.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “The Holbeck Urban Village has already seen some award-winning regeneration, and it is a key part of the redevelopment of the South Bank, one of the biggest and most exciting development opportunities in Europe.

“However, the last decade has also seen some huge changes in the national and local economy.

“We want to ensure we have a planning policy that remains up to date, which properly reflects our ambitions for Holbeck Urban Village and which will support and facilitate the further regeneration and revitalisation of this historic part of the city.”

Holbeck Urban Village started as an design concept many years ago and even won the ‘Great Neighbourhood’ award’ at the 2015 Urbanism Awards for creating and sustaining a neighbourhood of almost 400 businesses since 1999.

Key elements include the Round Foundry, and the emerging Tower Works and Sweet Street developments.

And as the vision continues to expand, a number of other landmark investment proposals have recently been announced, including the arrival of global fashion brand Burberry.

If adopted, the new supplementary planning document would become a “material consideration” in all decisions about future development proposals in the area.

It would be used to provide information and guidance for planning officials.

Other key proposed changes to the planning guidance include the extension of the site boundaries to include Sweet Street and further emphasising the importance of improving connections to nearby neighbourhoods.

The council’s executive board will meet on March 9.

A further report will be brought back to the executive board in the summer following public consultation.

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