By John Baron
Proposals to redevelop a former medical centre which has fallen into disrepair are ‘inching closer to reality’, planners told an Armley Forum meeting.
The derelict site, on Theaker Lane, off Armley Town Street has sat empty for many years and has been subjected to vandalism, arson and anti-social behaviour.
But council planning officers told last night’s Armley Forum meeting that they had held ‘pre-application’ talks with a potential developer who was interested in developing the site and turning it into residential accommodation.
The talks are ahead of a formal planning application being submitted. Council planning officer Adam Ward said the un-named interested party had been told to lower the number of units and parking spaces they were looking to build. He said:
“It is inching closer. I’m hoping the architect will reduce the number of units and up the quality of the potential development as we need to get that area redeveloped. I hope they listen as it could be a positive scheme.”
Mr Ward said any developer would be asked to contribute towards providing off-site green space in the area.
Previous unsuccessful plans for the Theaker Lane clinic site include a 22-bed hostel with six kitchens in 2016.
The building was subject to an arson attack in 2018, dubbed at the time as a ‘wake up call’ for Leeds City Council to properly secure the building by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves. Photos by urban explorer Chaotic Footsteps were published by WLD last October and showed how dangerous the building was.
Council planning officer Richard Smith provided an update on other planning applications in Armley, including housing on the former Upstairs Downstairs nightclub site. Developer Zarina Acquisitions Ltd was granted permission to build a mix of four flats and five houses last October.
Mr Smith said the council was working with the developer to discharge some of the conditions attached to the planning permission but admitted he was unsure whether the developer planned to carry out the development themselves or sell the land with planning permission onto another party.
He also said that Zarina’s plans to develop the nearby site off Hollywell Lane into 14 new homes, with parking for 23 cars – first reported here – had been reduced to around eight homes and would need to be re-advertised.
The Armley Forum meeting some residents stress the importance of retaining mature trees on sites.