Plans for two sites on the South Bank come forward this week, both with issues about public access to open space.
Proposals for the Ruth Gorse Academy on Black Bull Street, Hunslet and a residential development on David Street, Holbeck will be discussed by the City Plans Panel on Thursday (16 April 2015). Both sites are still at an early stage with and these will be Pre Application presentations to councillors.
The Ruth Gorse Academy is to be built on the former Yorkshire Chemicals site. Concerns have been raised about pedestrian access through the site. It is one of the principles of developments in the South Bank that they do not inhibit pedestrian access through the area. The school has cited safeguarding reasons to have a secure perimeter.
The Academy will be a new high school, eventually catering for 1,580 students. The academy is a ‘Free School’ and is believed to have received the largest funding allocation in the country. The school currently operates from sites at Morley and Farnley Academies.
Due to open in September 2016, the main buildings will form three sides of a square around an open courtyard. The buildings will be three storey, glazed with black metal cladding. The site will also contain play and PE facilities with a 100m running track, hard surface pitch and three multi use games areas (MUGAs).
The plans for David Street are to build on an empty site where a previous development stalled as a result of the financial crash and on the car park currently used by the Round Foundry Media Centre.
Concerns at this site relate to Wonderwood, a temporary urban garden to the rear of the Midnight Bell pub. Wonderwood was created in 2009 on a corner of the undeveloped site, but it has proved very popular and planners are asking the new developers to consider keeping it as public open space. There are also concerns about the height of the six storey block facing onto David Street.