Controversial plans to build a new council park and ride facility off Elland Road will be debated by councillors next week – with planning officers recommending the detailed proposals be approved.
The plans, which can be viewed here, show a 425 space main car park, with 15 dedicated disabled spaces and an overspill area for another 375 cars, built on ‘Car Park D’ at Elland Road – the car park nearest the railway line. The site is opposite the new West Yorkshire Police HQ, due to be completed in mid-2014, and the plot is shared with the site of a proposed ice rink, due to open towards the end of 2014.
The plans come despite local opposition from residents, most notably the Beeston Forum group, and local councillors Angela Gabriel and David Congreve.
Their concerns include extra traffic in the area and more pollution. Some argue the park and ride isn’t far enough out from the city centre to be successful. Other concerns include the overall impact of the scheme on nearby residents.
The council says commuters will be signposted towards the site from the west via the ‘Cemetery Gates’ junction that links the outer ring road to the M621 at Junction 2, rather than past houses along Elland Road itself. The car park is expected to be mostly empty by the time traffic arrives for evening matches at Elland Road, and the park and ride service will not operate on Saturday match days.
As well as the works to construct bus stops and the car park itself, permission is also being sought for a new bus gate at the junction of the M621 and Jack Lane on the edge of Leeds city centre. This will give both park and ride and existing bus services priority over other traffic entering the city. The park and ride buses will serve stops at Meadow Road, Great Wilson Street near Asda headquarters, and Boar Lane.
Members of next Thursday’s city plans panel will discuss the detailed plans. In a report to councillors, planning officers say:
“The proposal in planning terms is considered acceptable. The use is similar to the current use of the site but will be more intensive. As a result the potential for impact on residents and air quality have been looked into. No objections have been raised by consultees, and the concerns of objectors have been explored.
“The proposal is not considered to result in detriment by virtue of traffic generation or air pollution, and will bring benefits in reducing congestion and pollution in other areas …. Members are therefore asked to approve the proposal subject to the specified conditions.”
Officers recommend a raft of planning conditions be attached to the application before approval is given, including the parking area being made available to users of the planned new ice rink and to LUFC on match days.
Councillors will debate and consider the application at the City Plans meeting on Thursday, October 24, at 1pm at Leeds Civic Hall. Members of the public can attend.
Also at the meeting, councillors will hear the current position in respect of an application for laying out of traveller site, comprising 12 pitches, ancillary buildings, parking and landscaping, to the west of Cottingley Springs.
You can read the full report below or discover more about the meeting here.