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Kirkstall Forge: Have your say on new housing proposals

A public consultation will give residents a chance to have their say on the first phase of residential development at the £400 million Kirkstall Forge development.

The first residential phase will provide 213 homes, including 77 houses offering three to five-bedroom family living, designed by Stirling Prize winners Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, alongside new apartments.

Developers CEG say the unique style of architecture is inspired by the local stone of the old forge building and Kirkstall Abbey, with space and light are maximised with high ceilings and tall windows. They will offer open plan living opening out onto gardens and terraces across different floors, with roof verandas providing views of the valley.

Two apartment buildings are also proposed, just north of the River Aire. Each set over nine floors with upper floors set back.

Designed by residential architecture firm, Cartwright Pickard, they will provide 136 studios to three-bed apartments with 1,350 sq m of leisure and retail space on the ground floor. They will be set around amenity space, a new public plaza and pocket park.

CEG secured detailed planning permission for 135 homes last year and built two prototype homes which will be thoroughly tested by the team once Covid-19 permits. This housing design remains unchanged in this new application, but with four less homes this has enabled the two apartment buildings to be redesigned. Slightly taller, with upper floors set back to minimise the visual effect, more apartments are offered.

James Shimwell, Head of Residential Development at CEG, said: 

“As well as family housing, the proposals now include build-for-rent apartments which will bring new residents onto site very quickly, expanding the vibrant community at Kirkstall Forge. With shops, leisure facilities and food and drink outlets on the ground floor, they are set around a public plaza and pocket park for pop up events, outdoor screenings and exercise classes.

“Our consultation seeks ideas for these activities as well as the opportunity to comment on the proposals and we welcome feedback.”

Within this first phase of residential development, the apartment buildings sit at the heart around a ‘Stitch Square’, a multi-functional public space. This public square will create a venue for organised events and informal gatherings.

Leeds-based architect practice, Cartwright Pickard, designed the apartment buildings. Peter Cartwright, Founding Director at Cartwright Pickard, said: 

“This first phase of homes for rent at Kirkstall Forge contributes to the overall aim of the masterplan to create a new community that provides better choices for those living, working and or looking to move to the city.

“Using materials which complement the wider masterplan, we have sought to celebrate the industrial heritage of the Forge using high-quality materials that will weather well, grow old gracefully and contribute to our strategy to minimise the building’s whole life cost.

“Retail and leisure facilities will also be available to residents as the ground floor of both buildings will feature commercial space, providing direct access to the Stitch Square and the riverfront.”

The 57-acre site is already home to Number One Kirkstall Forge offices and Butler’s deli restaurant, a new railway station and two prototype homes. CEG is fast-tracking the detailed design for the next phase of offices after (detailed) planning permission was granted in June for offices and a multi-storey car park.

Ultimately, Kirkstall Forge will provide up to 1,450 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space. Located close to the train station, which provides access to the city centre in just six minutes, the scheme is set to create a thriving mixed-use community that has the River Aire running through its heart.

Local residents are encouraged to visit and provide their feedback on this next phase of development.


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