Developers outline plans for ‘South Bank’

Potential developers behind plans for billion pound plans for a ‘world trade centre’ in parts of old Hunslet are promising lots of new jobs for South Leeds residents.

OneLeeds_ViewB_Brand copyAs reported in September, a masterplan to help transform “Leeds’ South Bank” over the next 100 years has been drawn up by ‘leading architects and developers in the city’.

The ‘One Leeds‘ proposal includes building a state-of-the-art World Trade Center exhibition and conference centre, up to 1,000 apartments, 1 million sq ft of office space, 3,000 car parking spaces plus hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops. And there are also plans for a park and an “urban eco-settlement”.

One Leeds Plc was responding to a recent editorial in South Leeds Life which called on them to fully engage with residents and businesses in Hunslet and Holbeck before submitting any plans for the former industrial heartland.

Adam Sims, CEO of One Leeds Plc, told South Leeds Life that his company’s proposals were still at an early stage but that he was already looking at a per cent age of the 1,000 estate jobs to go to South Leeds residents. Mr Sims said:

“We do want to support South Leeds through jobs and through good links from our development into Hunslet and beyond.”

One possible idea for the site is for a microbrewery to be built, honouring the legacy of Tetley in the area. Mr Sims said he’d be keen to get former Tetley workers – many of them from South Leeds – involved.

He said more formal consultation with local residents would come ‘in due course’ but was keen to hear SLL readers’ views to help shape the project. He added:

“We want to create a space where people come and say ‘wow’. We want to create the number one leisure destination in the region. Two questions I would like input on are the questions of a park and the microbrewery.

“We’re planning a five-acre family park with giant waterfalls and huge marble floors, an amazing space for the city. Some people think it will be a wonderful resource, but others have said that if people want to see green space they can get into their car and drive to the countryside.

“We think the city needs a new park but we want to know what everyone thinks about it.”

Mr Sims’ who hails from Leeds, said he knew of one Bramley family who went to Centenary Square in Bradford rather than Leeds City centre because of its superior family facilities.

Other plans for the 22-acre site includes a business incubator space, supporting digital start ups.

OneLeeds 1Drawings (some of which are shown exclusively here for the first time)  show around 30 building plots of differing sizes within an area surrounded by Crown Point, Meadow Lane and Brewery Wharf and Hunslet to the north and south.

South Leeds Life understands One Leeds Plc is one of several developers interested in securing land in the area for redevelopment.

Mr Sims hopes that once land options have been secured, a public consultation will take place prior to a formal planning application being submitted. He hopes work will start on site by 2017 with work finished ‘by the end of the decade’. Before that there’s the matter of raising the funds for the development, which he hopes to raise through £350 million in loans and the same amount in equity.

It’s understood One Leeds is in talks with a number of companies about venture partnerships. Firms include global giants McLaren Construction Group, commercial property company Unibail Rodamco and venue development and business management firm ADNEC Group.

Mr Sims added: “If [Leeds City Council] agrees that they want us to promote and regenerate the site then the development can go ahead.

“Carlsberg have told us they will look to the council for approval of who they should work with, and McLaren’s partners have already agreed to a £10 million seed fund to get the project off the ground.”

What do you think of the plans? What would you like to see built there? What should South Leeds get out of such a major development? Would you like to see a park and a microbrewery? Have your say in the comments below and we’ll make sure your comments are passed on to One Leeds.

Comment logo 2OUR COMMENT

South Leeds Life doesn’t usually mix it’s articles with comment, but given One Leeds were replying to our initial comment piece we thought we’d make an exception here.

The developers are clearly at the start of their journey so it is too early for them to give cast iron guarantees about consultation and jobs. Their proposals for the site are ambitious, but they’ve also set themselves an incredibly ambitious timescale to realise their project.

As you’d expect they’re making the right noises at present (and there’s always the danger these kind of interviews end up giving them a free public relations exercise) but we’ll keep following their progress to ensure their words regarding jobs, links and consultation aren’t just empty ones.

We’d also like the throw down the gauntlet to other potential developers of the site around The Tetley – what are your plans? How do you plan to involve local residents? SLL would love to hear from you!

3 Replies to “Developers outline plans for ‘South Bank’”

  1. Fantastic news and an urban water park would connect well with the River Aire corridor. What about an urban swimming facility aka New Yorks, Hudson River swimming pool?

    A micro brewery would also be brilliant how about naming it ‘Old Joshua’ or ‘Old Josh’ in memory of the great man! And what if it could take its water source from the once heavily polluted River Aire …. Now along with the return of salmon to the Aire …. Turning river water into Ale would be quite iconic ( and technically not difficult). I would love to raise a glass to the AA …. Aire Ale!


  2. I have lived in the Longroyd area of Hunslet for 6 years now and I have to say I am growing pretty disgusted with the area and a large number of it’s residents, so for me, any proposed green space/city park is a complete waste of money. The area is filthy, and citizens with any kind of respect for other people or their own environment are sadly in the minority. I counted 27 piles of dog excrement on the pavement whilst walking from my home to the Blooming Rose pub on Burton Row, just a walk of about 200 meters. Add to this the litter, several items of dumped furniture, broken glass bottles and general deameanor of many of the local residents (Heavy alcohol and drug use, feral children, speeding cars, noise pollution, a vandalised playground), and you have a picture of the sort of thing I have to deal with on a daily basis. These people don’t deserve new facilities, they will only trash it, and the council (Who will be expected to provide environmental services on any new park) obviously will not be able to clean up the mess….since they can’t even handle the relatively small area of Hunslet Moor/Burton Row.

    1. Hi L Warren. I know where you’re coming from, but don’t totally agree with your conclusions. I live just up the hill, off Tempest Road, and – like you – dog fouling and litter is definitely an issue here too. (Created by a small minority, resented by the majority.)
      But some streets and even some neighbourhoods are definitely better or worse than others. I think the sense of ownership people feel for their community is surely a major factor: people won’t make a mess in a space they value or feel is ‘theirs’.
      It’s harder to build sense of ownership in an area where people are coming and going (eg people renting homes on short tenancies) – but it is possible. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve done some events and mini projects (eg a shared hen run!) on a few streets up here,and I think that’s really helped.
      Fly-tipping is I think a slightly different issue: it’s normally in my experience the work of negligent landlords, who really need holding to account (legally etc).
      Finally, on the subject of parks, again I do know what you mean – green spaces can certainly bring communities down, if they get into a bad spiral. But equally, they can be really positive community spaces. Years ago, I remember Cross Flatts Park was notorious for being dirty, underused, and even dangerous. But through the hard work of some great local people I know (Friends of Cross Flatts Park) over many years, I think it’s become a real positive asset for the area.
      Not perfect – it suffers a bit with dog fouling and littering. But it’s basically a well-kept park, used (and even perhaps loved) by a wide range of people, for sports, events, and much more – in an area where many people have limited other access to outdoor space.
      If this new park comes off, maybe local people will get (hopefully) involved, and help create something inspiring and of practical use. No guarantees, but we’ll see…

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