Leeds city centre car parks to stay open

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More than 3,000 unauthorised commuter parking spaces are expected to be approved – more than a year after the council vowed to shut them.

A total of 16 car parks have been operating without planning permission at Holbeck Urban Village for several years.

Commuters were horrified when Leeds City Council announced it would close the illegal sites in a bid to get more people on to public transport, the YEP previously reported.

Now the authority is likely to approve 3,200 of the 4,568 spaces when the matter arrives before the city centre plans panel on Thursday.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for development and economy, said: “These proposals mean the people of Leeds will benefit from car parks that are safer, look better and which serve the needs of commuters and the wider city economy.

“When businesses and members of the public raised concerns about [their] closure we responded quickly by suspending enforcement action and setting up a review.

“We understand these car parks provide valuable commuter car parking spaces, and that this can help support local businesses.”

The car parks are located on Whitehall Road, Globe Road, Sweet Street, Skinner Lane, Ingram Row, Meadow Road and Jack Lane.

Applications were assessed on traffic congestion, security and safety, landscaping, greenery and biodiversity.

A report to Leeds City Council plans panel recommends approval of 11 of the 16 car park sites.

If approved on Thursday, they will be able to stay open for the next five years.

Coun Lewis said the revised commuter car parking policy balanced competing objectives, including a need to encourage city centre leisure and business, the wish to promote sustainable transport, and the opportunity to improve the appearance and safety of car parks.

A recent study by government adviser Mary Portas emphasised the importance of car parking in city centres to support their vitality and health.

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