Plans to expand a busy Kirkstall retail park look set to be approved in principle by the council – despite local concern that it would increase traffic problems in the area.
Councillors sitting on tomorrow’s south and east plans panel will decide whether to approve plans at Kirkstall Retail Park, off Savins Mill Way, for two new retail units with ground floor and mezzanine floorspace.
The retail park already houses Kirkstall Morrisons supermarket, Dunnes, Intersport sports store, Boots the Chemist and a Specsavers.
The application is made by site owner Morrisons and the new shops would be built next to to the existing sports store, on car parking behind the petrol station.
But there are three letters of objection from local residents, as well as concerns raised by Kirkstall ward councillor John Illingworth (Lab, Kirkstall), who all mention the impact the extra stores may have on already congested roads.
Cllr Illingworth fears the nearby developments at Kirkstall Forge, the former BHS site and planned Tesco site all needed to be taken into consideration as well.
But a planning officer’s report recommends councillors approve the plan in principle as the scheme meets current planning policy on retail development.
The report says the critical decision for councillors revolves around whether a proposed £25,000 signalling works would mitigate the extra traffic caused by the two new stores. Traffic lights would be improved at the junction with Savins Mill Way and at the junction of Bridge Road with Savins Way.
The report concludes:
“The principle concerns relating to the scheme revolve around its impact on the wider highway network.
“Modelling has been provided of the surrounding highways to include the approved developments on the nearby BHS and Kirkstall Forge sites but not the Tesco site which does not current have an approved scheme for its redevelopment.
“This model has shown that the development will result in some increases in queuing traffic but it has been agreed that this may be mitigated by some changes to the signals at a cost of £25,000 which the developer has agreed to pay.”
The report, which can be read in full here, suggests councillors approve the development in principle and defer the final decision to the council’s chief planning officer, subject to a number of planning conditions being met.
You can also read the report in full below:
The south and east plans panel meets at Leeds Civic Hall at 1.30pm. Members of the public can attend and listen to the debate.