Thousands of temporary Leeds car park spaces to be renewed - but will it lead to development limbo?

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Thousands of Leeds city centre parking spaces will remain available to commuters as the council gets ready to sign off on renewing several big temporary car park licences for the next five years.

However the authority is also vowing to crack down on the site owners if they drag their feet on developing the land.

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The move - expected to be rubber-stamped by Leeds City Council’s cabinet today - involves a raft of sites including the ex Tetley Brewery site, land at Sweet Street, Holbeck; Whitehall Road and Globe Road.

A report being debated by the executive board at Leeds Civic Hall today says: “There will be an expectation that developers will continue to bring forward the sites for development as soon as possible, and that as a result car parking will remain a temporary and diminishing use of the site.”

It adds: “The council will reserve the right to take enforcement action if appropriate phasing reductions are not met, and to refuse to grant further renewals in due course if it considers that development is not progressing as expected.”

In 2012, 12 temporary commuter car parks with a combined total of 3,443 spaces were granted temporary planning permission on cleared sites in the city centre. Moves had been made to close those car parks which had failed to comply with conditions imposed by planners, but this sparked an outcry from drivers.

The report to the executive board says the needs of business, the regeneration of the wider city centre, and the city’s public transport aspirations must all be considered.

“Air quality management and the need for transport mitigation measures is also a critical emerging factor,” it adds.

Cori Braham.

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