Squaring up for store wars in east Leeds

The junction of Lincoln Green Road and Beckett Street. Picture: Google Maps
The junction of Lincoln Green Road and Beckett Street. Picture: Google Maps
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Plans for the redevelopment of a former working men’s club site are threatening to cause an outbreak of store wars in east Leeds.

Heron Foods is seeking permission from Leeds City Council to build a new shop on land at Lincoln Green Road in Burmantofts that was once home to North Leeds WMC.

A supporting statement submitted as part of the planning application says the scheme would bring “economic, social and environmental benefits” to the area.

The statement also describes the vacant site that has been earmarked for the stand-alone shop as “an eyesore” which occupies a “very prominent location” at Lincoln Green Road’s junction with Beckett Street.

But Heron’s application is facing opposition from two of the area’s existing retailers, with Costcutter and Freshways both having lodged objections to it with the council.

A letter from Costcutter director Tim Bhullar says the proposed store would create “very severe parking issues” as well as increased congestion at a junction that is used by emergency vehicles travelling to nearby St James’s Hospital.

Freshways, meanwhile, has warned the council that the arrival of a competitor at a location that stands just 50 metres from its premises would have a serious effect on its trade.

The Heron scheme, which would include a 15-space car park, has won support from local councillor Maureen Ingham (Lab, Burmantofts and Richmond Hill).

North Leeds WMC had stood vacant for some time before its demolition in late 2014.

Heron’s application is due to be considered at a meeting of a city council plans panel tomorrow.

A council report compiled for the panel members says “it is considered that the proposed development would be a welcome reuse of a vacant brownfield site in a prominent edge of centre location”.