Housing plan for nPower’s historic Leeds HQ

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AN 184-year old building which currently houses energy giant nPower’s Leeds base is set to be transformed into flats as part of a 92-home development.

The firm is moving its Leeds offices from its long-term base in Scarcroft to new offices in the city centre.

And that decision has paved the way for a major new housing scheme to be brought forward.

The site’s overall owners MNI (Scarcroft) have submitted initial plans for a brand new development of apartments and houses to Leeds City Council.

The proposal relates to the Scarcroft Lodge site occupied by nPower, and previously occupied by Yorkshire Electricity for several decades.

The site actually consists of several buildings. The grade II listed Scarcroft Lodge itself, constructed in 1830, will be retained and converted into homes, and several other associated smaller buildings will be demolished and replaced. A small supermarket is also expected to form part of the development and will sit in the spot currently occupied by the Woodlands building near the site entrance.

Papers to be presented to a Leeds council planning committee next week lay out details of a pre-application presentation. They also detail objections from many locals, who fear their views will be destroyed and there will be pressure on already-stretched health facilities and schools.

The site lies in an area which has open countryside to the east, with elements of woodland in between.

To the south, there is more woodland and an open field, with the southern edge of Scarcroft village beyond that.

Comments from locals include that the development will “destroy the rural nature of the area” and “will cause overdevelopment, loss of greenfield land and disturbance”.

However there has also been some positive feedback, especially about the proposed mix of house types.

A report to the plans panel says: “The applicants have indicated that nPower are seeking to relocate from these current premises and are actively looking to move to a city centre location and this scheme will assist them being able to facilitate this move”.

A full design is yet to be submitted to the council, however it is expected that the development will have a mixture of houses and flats of between two and five bedrooms.

Twelve of the new units would be built in the converted Scarcroft Lodge, with the remaining 80 homes being new builds.

Coun Judith Blake.

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