Latest look at Leeds city centre park, as plans approved this week
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Coun Judith Blake’s comments come as developers have just released a new artist impression for the eagerly-anticipated facility on part of the old Tetley’s Brewery site, which was approved by council planning chiefs earlier this week.
Construction on Aire Park, which developers Vastint claim is the “largest new city centre green space in the UK”, is expected to start early 2021.
Coun Blake said: “The approval of this development is fantastic news not just for the South Bank but the whole of Leeds, providing a spectacular new Aire Park for people and communities to enjoy as well as helping to deliver major supporting benefits.
“It will boost the regeneration of the area, encourage new jobs, investment and growth, and will also help to tackle climate change and will be a thoroughly modern, child-friendly 21st century park accessible to all.
“Most importantly it also responds to what people clearly told us they wanted to see in the South Bank in terms of major green space, so we’d like to thank Vastint UK and all the other stakeholders and partners involved in making it happen. We will watch its development with keen interest, and we cannot wait to see it open.”
As part of the plans, an area around half the size of Millennium Square to the northwest of the site would be known as the Tetley Triangle – a hard-surfaced events space for “concerts, markets, outdoor cinema and outdoor cafe”.
“The green”, a grassed area to the west of the site with an amphitheatre; the sensory “theatre gardens”; and “central park”, made up of grassed areas, trees, play areas and a water feature, would make up the rest of the site.
The blueprints form the first part of one of the city’s biggest-ever building projects, which also includes 850 flats, a five-storey office building and two hotels, all of which was given outline planning permission in 2018.
Leeds City Council will take out a 250-year lease on the completed park from Vastint UK to manage, operate and maintain the park.
Andrew Cobden, managing director of Vastint UK, said: “We have worked closely with Leeds City Council throughout the planning stages to understand the needs and aspirations for the city, ensuring every detail of Aire Park is designed with these in mind.
“Securing planning consent for the park means these underutilised industrial areas will be transformed into a significant green space for the people of Leeds and visitors to enjoy as part of a thriving district for new homes and businesses. We also hope that the rebirth of The Crown, which is so rich in local history, will become a park-side venue for locals in the years to come. This development will make a huge difference in supporting Leeds growth by transforming the South Bank.”