Leeds City centre park plans could get final approval next week

Exciting plans to create a brand new park in Leeds city centre dubbed a “catalyst for regeneration”  could be given final approval next week.

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 2:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 2:30 pm

Blueprints for one of the city’s biggest ever building projects, which also includes 850 flats, a five-storey office building and two hotels on part of the old Tetley’s brewery site, have been in the works for more than two years.

Developers Vastint UK are now set to present final plans to Leeds City Council decision-makers for the part of the development that would create a two-hectare park on the site.

Leeds City Council officers call it the first major 21st-century park, adding it would be a “catalyst for regeneration” in the surrounding area.

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An early artist impression of the site.

Although previous versions of the plans include basic details of how the park would look, the reserved matters application set to go before the council’s city plans panel next week includes further detail on the make-up of the space.

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 would be a grassed area to the west of the site, which would include a stepped amphitheatre for “informal performances”.

Theatre Gardens, an area north of Salem Chapel would be a “modern ornamental and sensory garden for quiet enjoyment”.

The Central Park, to the east of the site would include “significant parkland”, with trees, grassed areas, a water feature and play area.

The report added: “This includes a ‘Flowering Avenue’, which will

feature springtime blossom from cherry and other flowering fruit trees. This

central area would be slightly smaller than Lovell Park.”

Although the park would be created by private developers, the report adds Leeds City Council will be given a 250-year lease for the Vastint-owned area of the park, and that the council’s own parks team would look after the site.

The report stated: “This (application) proposes the first major contribution to a multi-functional 21st century city park that would be a child-friendly, well connected accessible and inclusive, biodiverse and climate change-adapted greenspace with significant new tree cover.

“It would also be a catalyst for the regeneration of the Tetley Brewery site, which closed almost 10 years ago, and the wider South Bank as a destination in own right.

“In conclusion, this proposal would be in accordance with city park and high quality landscape aspirations of development plan policies. This reserved matters application is therefore recommended for approval.”

Plans for the whole 16-acre site were approved in December 2018 but, with large developments such as these, approval is often sought in two parts – known as “outline” and “reserved matters” plans, so more discussion can take place on the details of the proposals.

The city plans panel will meet to discuss the plans on Thursday, September 3.

Final plans for the surrounding housing, offices and hotels are expected to be submitted to the council in the coming months.