Detailed plans for two eight-storey office blocks and a multi-storey car park at the £400 million Kirkstall Forge site have been approved by Leeds City Council.
The second phase of commercial development, currently occupied by a temporary car park, will be to the west of the existing Number One office block.
It will provide the remaining 200,000 sqft of Grade “A” office space for the site as well as a multi-storey car park. It also includes leisure/retail space on the ground floor.
The dedicated car park will be positioned between the two new office buildings. Electric car charging, a cycle spa, shower rooms and locker facilities will be provided within the building.
Masonry will reflect the commercial as well as the new residential elements on the site, helping to blend the mix of uses being delivered across the 57-acre development.
The Stitch public square area will run between the new buildings and the Number One block.
The application was originally due to be considered at a South & West Plans Panel meeting on 19 March 2020, which was cancelled by Leeds City Council as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The chair, Cllr Caroline Gruen (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) decided the matter should be decided by planning officers.
Cllr Gruen and the council’s chief planning officer met virtually with the developer to discuss some changes to the design of the buildings. This includes more grassed and informal recreational space in The Stitch outdoor space.
The council report approving the proposals can be read here and the planning application viewed here.
The plans followed a community consultation event at Kirkstall Forge last July.
Cistercian Monks constructed Kirkstall Abbey in 1152 on the wooded bank of the River Aire.
The Monks went on to build Kirkstall Forge around 1200 AD, with the ironworks from the Forge amongst their earliest activities along with farming.
After the dissolution of the monasteries, Kirkstall Abbey and its land were given to supporters of Henry VIII before eventually coming under the ownership of the Cardigan Estate, whom leased the Forge to various tenants, including the Butler family in 1779, who went onto manage the Forge for six generations.
The site was the longest continually used industrial site in the UK and manufactured motor vehicle axles and steel bars until the site closed in 2003.
The Midland Railway line passed the site and the Kirkstall Forge Railway Station opened in 1860 and closed in 1905. The new station, which opened in 2016 is situated close to the original station site.