Leeds United: Council kicks on with Elland Road schemes

An artist impression of the proposed development for Elland Road.
An artist impression of the proposed development for Elland Road.
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FRESH details emerged today about council plans for land around Leeds United’s Elland Road ground.

A report to a forthcoming meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board reveals:

* The local authority remains in talks with an unnamed private firm about the development of an ice rink near the stadium;

* Work should start next July on new headquarters for West Yorkshire Police on the site of the old Elland Road greyhound track;

* The council is considering contributing £500,000 to the cost of a realignment of Lowfields Road that would create space for United’s proposed extension of their ground’s East Stand.

The report also confirms the authority’s acquisition of a seven-acre site between Elland Road and the M621 motorway. Details of the deal were originally revealed by the Yorkshire Evening Post last month.

At the time, Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member with responsibility for city development, said the authority wanted to make Elland Road “an important contributor to the regeneration of the local community and the Leeds economy”.

That aim is restated by the new report, which says: “Elland Road is an important site in the city and one that is in need of redevelopment and regeneration.”

Plans for the ice rink first emerged in 2009. The intention then was for it to boast 2,000 seats and a resident ice hockey team, with the public being charged for use on a “pay as you skate” basis.

Today’s report reveals just over half a hectare of land has been earmarked for the rink at the western edge of the car park that adjoins Elland Road’s John Charles West Stand.

It also says the council’s contribution to the Lowfields Road realignment would be “linked to the requirement for Leeds United to demonstrate further involvement in local community activities”.

On the drawing board since 2007, United’s East Stand extension plans include the creation of a hotel and leisure complex.

A separate masterplan drawn up by the council in 2007 raised the prospect of a leisure quarter around Elland Road comprising hotels, shops and restaurants.

Local authority bosses have stressed the masterplan is a range of options for consideration rather than a set of firm commitments.

Their acquisition of the family-owned M621 site means they control all the 40 acres that are bounded by the motorway, Elland Road, Lowfields Road and the Leeds-London railway line, except for the ground itself.

Leeds 2023 steering group chair Sharon Watson and Coun Judith Blake with bid volunteers in 2015.

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