Leeds Rugby Academy has applied for revised planning permission to build a new car park at the site in Kirkstall.
The proposals would involve the demolition of prefabricated changing rooms which are deemed no longer fit for purpose at the Bridge Road site.
The changing rooms, which academy bosses say have ‘run their life cycle’, would be demolished to allow access to the car park, which originally gained planning permission back in 2012. The car park would sit on currently grassed land next to the recently installed artifical pitches.
The club says there is a shortfall of parking spaces on the site.
But local community group Burley Top Community Association has raised concerns over an increased risk of flooding as a result of the hard-surfaced tarmac.
In an objection statement, treasurer Michael Park said:
“I would like to object to the above planning application on the grounds that this area was original the Archie Gordon Ground and was part of the Kirkstall Flood Plain.
“Bearing in mind the devastation of flooding in Kirkstall on Christmas last, I feel that adding more hardcore to this area of Kirkstall will have a detrimental effect downstream from Kirkstall Retail Park area.
“There is sufficient spare parking facilities in the Morrison’s Supermarket car park area to accommodate any over-spill from the Academy site should the situation occur.”
A flood risk assessment dating back to 2010 has been submitted by the club.
The academy reopened in July, more than six months after the River Aire broke its banks on Boxing Day and left the facilities under several feet of flood water.
Leeds Rhinos were forced, along with Yorkshire Carnegie, to train elsewhere when facilities at the Kirkstall training base became contaminated.
The site is also used by Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which works with more than 50,000 people every year, as well as Kirkstall community club Milford Marlins ARLFC.
The plans can be viewed in full – and commented upon – here.