Eyesore Kirkstall District Centre could become flats and houses

kirkstall district centre
Eyesore: Kirkstall District Centre. Photo: Google

Run-down Kirkstall District Centre could be transformed into 266 apartments and 35 town houses, it’s been revealed.

Developer Artisan Real Estate UK Limited wants to build a residential development targeted at young professionals on the site in the heart of Kirkstall, which has been mostly disused for 15 years.

The proposals also include building a small amount of commercial space at the junction of Kirkstall Lane and Kirkstall Hill.

To deliver the scheme, Artisan is asking the council to sell its freehold interest on part of the site for an unspecified sum of money. Members of the council’s decision-making executive board will next Wednesday decide whether to approve the transfer.

A council report says:

“This provides a timely and exciting opportunity to redevelop a brownfield site in a prime and highly visible location.

“This scheme is a positive step forward to securing the redevelopment of the Kirkstall District Centre site and the Kirkstall ward members are supportive of the progress which has been made to date, given the positive impact that this will have for Kirkstall.

“There is a window of opportunity to ensure that the redevelopment scheme is realised and the Council has been working proactively with Artisan to agree terms for the sale of the Council’s freehold interest. “

The report says only Harvard Mills and a few other small retail units have been occupied in recent years. The site was acquired by supermarket giants Tesco, which submitted a planning application in 2011 for a new supermarket and district centre.

But due to changes in the retail sector the proposals were not pursued and Tesco instructed agents to market the site, which it partly owns, for disposal.

The report adds:

“A number of developers have approached the council about alternative development proposals givien its freehold interest.

“Proposals have predominantly focused on retail schemes, but these have not been deemed appropriate due to the scale and type of retail activity which would see high volumes of car-bourn visitors, but have equally proven difficult to deliver from a viability perspective due to Tesco’s land value expectations.”

Subject to executive board approving the land transfer, a planning application is expected to be submitted in the autumn. If planning approval is granted, work could start in 2019/20.

Read the council report here.


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