Planning chiefs have asked for assurances that a £150m masterplan which could transform Leeds’s cultural quarter will get off the ground quickly, after it was suggested that the project could take a decade and a half to complete.
As revealed in the YEP on Friday, the sprawling vision for Quarry Hill - on a site next to BBC Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Northern Ballet - has been granted outline planning consent by Leeds City Council.
Developers Caddick hope the decision will now galvanize interest from potential occupiers, and high level talks are already ongoing.
However there is concern that - as the site is to be developed in up to six phases, and no occupiers are yet signed up - there could be increased delays and disruption in a hugely important part of the city.
Councillor Peter Gruen, who sits on the City Plans Panel, said the construction phase “might go on for 10 or 15 years” and asked for reassurances that the developer will “get on site as quickly as possible”.
Myles Hartley, managing director of Caddick Developments, said the firm was “ready, willing and able”.
“We are developers. We don’t simply buy land to trade on and land bank,” he said. “Our business is all about development and construction and our firm intention is to move forward with the development at Quarry Hill as soon as possible.”
He said the planning consent allowed the firm “to demonstrate to occupiers and the wider market that we have a deliverable scheme” and it would hopefully act as a “catalyst” for other big names to come forward.