Sports facility plans for historic Roundhouse

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Plans for the Roundhouse on Wellington Road have been submitted. Photo: Google

By Don Mort, local democracy reporter

A historic building which once housed Victorian steam locomotives is set to be converted into a sports facility after revised plans were approved in principle.

A developer is planning to convert the grade II-listed Roundhouse, built in 1847 on Wellington Road, near Armley Gyratory, into a padel tennis centre.

The sport, described as a mixture of tennis and squash, will be played on five indoor and five outdoor courts under the proposal from UK Padel Club Ltd.

Leeds City Council’s city plans panel agreed to defer and delegate approval of the scheme to the chief planning officer at a meeting on Thursday.

A report to the meeting said the outdoor part of the site had capacity for 310 homes as part of the city’s Site Allocations Plan.

Under the revised plan, half of that area is removed from the application, leaving it available for housing development.

Coun Peter Carlill, Labour member for Calverley and Farsley, said: “Should I be concerned that this would effectively take 150 houses out of that plan?”

But councillors were told thousands of homes were on target to be built at other city centre sites. Planning officer Robin Coghlan said: “We have a pretty comfortable supply elsewhere at the moment.”

Planning permission would also be for a limited period of ten years, the panel was told, so the land could be used for housing in the longer term.

Councillors passed a recommendation to defer and delegate the application, subject to conditions including agreed opening times and noise monitoring.

The proposal was welcomed by Historic England when consulted as part of the application, the report said.

Historic England said: “The use as a leisure facility with padel courts located around the perimeter of the interior of the building is a very interesting new use for the building and it appears it would have a minimal physical impact on the building.”

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