Senior councillors in Leeds are to consider three new redevelopment proposals for the city, including one that could double the size of the city centre alongside the arrival of HS2.
On Wednesday (27 July) the council’s executive board will be asked to approve a three month consultation on the regeneration scheme for ‘South Bank Leeds’, one of the largest of its type in Europe.
The consultation will set out plans to integrate and maximise the opportunities around the redevelopment of Leeds Station for the arrival of high-speed rail, with the station (also now known as the Yorkshire Hub) becoming a key national transport interchange busier than Gatwick Airport is at present.
The council said the ‘South Bank Leeds’ scheme, which covers an area the size of 250 football pitches, would provide more than 35,000 jobs and over 4,000 homes and ‘transform’ and ‘double the size’ of the city centre. Planning permissions have already been granted for more than 1000 new homes and the area will feature a new £125m ‘Climate Innovation District’ of eco-friendly housing.
The plan also includes community facilities, leisure attractions and a new educational hub for over 10,000 students as part of its aim ‘to create a leading European destination for living, working and leisure’.
The Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds
At the same meeting, councillors will also hear a proposal for a ‘innovation district’, which would involve a partnership between the council, universities and hospital.
If approved, the innovation district would seek to attract new research facilities, provide a range of workspaces, create new development opportunities and provide new high-density housing to attract and retain skilled workers.
The proposed district would incorporate the main city centre campuses of the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, the Leeds General Infirmary, and the City Council buildings in the Civic Quarter.
The Aire Valley Leeds Area Action Plan, which covers 1,300 hectares of land to the south east of Leeds city centre, will also be put to councillors on Wednesday.
The plan will guide all future development in the area up to 2028, including new housing, economic development and regeneration and improved transport links to connect the area to the city centre and surrounding communities.
Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said: ‘The Aire Valley is hugely important for the future economic growth of Leeds and the wider city region, and that has already started to be shown by the businesses and investors flocking to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone and South Bank Leeds, two key strategic areas with incredible potential for regeneration and growth to create thousands of new jobs and houses as well as being attractive places to learn and visit.’