Kirkstall: ‘No severe traffic impact’ from new Burger King drive-thru plans, says report

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The corner plot at Kirkstall Retail Park.

Council highways officers say plans for a new Burger King drive-thru restaurant won’t result in severe impact on an already congested road network in Kirkstall – subject to traffic signal improvements being implemented in the area.

As exclusively reported by WLD last year, real estate investment trust NewRiver Retail has submitted the single storey 190 sq m plan for the disused corner plot at Kirkstall Retail Park, next to Matalan, which previously had planning permission for two new retail units.

Developers say the new restaurant, off Savins Mill Way, would create 40 new jobs, but there are currently 19 objections to the proposals, mainly expressing concerns over it exacerbating existing traffic problems in the area.

One local objector said: “The road that provides main access to the whole site … is swamped by traffic on most days and gridlocked during rush-hour traffic. This development, if allowed, would further burden the collapsing local road network bringing further misery to Kirkstall residents.”

And civic watchdog Leeds Civic Trust says: “The proposal exemplifies everything the city is trying to discourage through its various strategies: reducing unnecessary vehicle traffic and encouraging active travel; reducing vehicle emissions which contribute to climate change; reducing air pollution; and improving health and well-being.”

WLD reported last week on a spate of crashes at the nearby four-way junction that connects Kirkstall Road, Abbey Road and Kirkstall Lane. There are going-stanidbning concerns over traffic congestion in the area.

A highways engineer’s report published on 4 April says: “It is considered that the development would not result in a severe impact, subject to mitigation being implemented to improve the junction’s signal timings / operation and technology.”

The report says a contribution of £30,000 is required by the developer for the signal improvements off Savins Mill Way.

“There are two lanes that would be over-saturated as a result of the development,” the report adds. “However these would not result in gridlock or exacerbating the conditions on the A65. The queues / delays would be concentrated on Savins Mill Way and the development access at Morrisons signalised junction. The future model includes altered timings, with the aim of tipping the balance of capacity towards maintaining service on the highway network.”

It also lists a number of other highways issues which are still to be resolved.

A planning statement submitted by the developers with the application states: “The scale of the building is able to facilitate take away customers, both an indoor and outdoor seating area for visitors as well as an adequately sized back of house area for staff to enable efficient service. 

“The proportions of the facades have been designed to provide a contemporary style building with more glazing, and therefore light, into the newly created spaces to create a modern and pleasant environment.”

The plans and reports can be viewed in full here.

It is un known when the application will be determined by Leeds City Council.

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