Armley: Former textile mills site could become 103 townhouses

Canal Mills, pictured from Armley Road in Leeds. Picture from Google Streetview (July 2022)

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

Revised plans to redevelop an old industrial complex alongside part of the Leeds-Liverpool canal have been put forward.

Canal Mills in Armley, where textiles were produced for much of the 19th and 20th centuries, could be demolished with townhouses built on the space instead.

Last year, Leeds City Council gave planning permission for 148 new homes to be built on the site, off Brandon Street, most of which would have been apartments.

But now the developers behind the scheme have changed tack and have asked the council for the green light to build 103 townhouses on the land, all of which would be either two or three-bed properties.

Dedicated commercial space for shops, which was built into the original scheme, has also been removed from the new proposals.

Plans: Canal Mills, pictured from Brandon Street in Armley by Google Maps (July 2022).

A planning and heritage statement attached to the new application said: “Following a review of the previous proposals, it is now intended to bring a long-term vacant site back into use to provide a high-quality residential development and contribute to the requirement for additional housing in Leeds.

“The proposal aims to create a high-density development of very high quality. Houses are located within a series of seven blocks carefully arrange on site to maximise potential and allow private spaces and generous public realm and adequate circulation.

“Houses are on the canal frontage, to maximise views where possible.”

The mills themselves closed in the mid-20th century as Leeds’ textile industry declined, and the sprawl of buildings were sold to the Solk family in 1960, who ran a furniture manufacturing shop on the site. The business was liquidated in 2018.

A popular nightclub and live music venue also ran on the site between 2012 and 2019.

The new plans also include parking space for 78 cars and 307 bikes on the development, with EV charging points built in too.

Developers say the wall art, which lines the mill walls on the canal side of the site will be “safely removed” before demolition, retained and put up again elsewhere at a later date.

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