£1.8m Burley Park Centre plans withdrawn amid council review – ‘no decisions’ on future use

Burley Park Centre
Uncertain future: Burley Park Centre. Photo: Google

Words: John Baron

Leeds City Council has withdrawn a planning application to convert the former pupil referral unit at Burley Park Centre into office accommodation and nursery facilities.

Members of Leeds City Council’s decision-making executive board agreed in February 2020 to spend £1.8m on refurbishing the former Burley Park pupil referral unit (PRU) off Cardigan Lane, and allowing nearby Burley Park Little Owls Nursery and Children’s Centre to move into the space.

The former PRU site, which has been empty since April 2018, was also due to house office space for Leeds City Council.

But council chiefs say the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the authority’s needs for offices and are now ‘reassessing’ the requirements of the nursery. The nursery’s current building was described by councillors in 2020 as ‘awful’.

Comment: Cllr Fiona Venner

Councillor Fiona Venner (Lab, Kirkstall) is the executive member for adult and children’s social care and health partnerships. In a statement issued to WLD, she said no final decisions have been made over the future use of the building:

“The council has a large property portfolio and continually reviews the use and requirement for buildings across its estate. 

“The scheme proposed for the former Burley Park Centre was prepared before the pandemic. 

“The nursery requirements are being reassessed and the council’s use of its office estate has substantially changed over the last two years. the council has a working target to reduce office accommodation by 50% from 2020 levels.

“Until the review of requirements has been completed, no decisions have been made about the future use of the building.”

Plans, which can be viewed here, also included the demolition of existing garage structures and fuel store at the site and a single-storey extension to north-east elevation.

WLD cutswatch

WLD has been following the pandemic’s impact on council spending in West Leeds – through our ongoing Cutswatch series.


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