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Leeds council approves plans for ‘one of Europe’s largest regeneration schemes’

Exciting regeneration plans for the South Bank area of Leeds have been approved by the city council following extensive consultation with landowners, stakeholders, businesses and the public – amounting to 32,000 individual responses received in total.

Leeds City Council has now officially adopted the £500m masterplan which guides all key developments in the area, meaning the principles in the South Bank Leeds Regeneration Framework will be formally recognised and followed in planning terms as a supplementary planning document.

The document provides a shared collaborative vision for the region, which hopes to turn South Bank into a mixed-use neighbourhood with new public spaces and a new city park. This will all be connected to other communities through good-quality public transport, with a waterfront and a “world-class” remodelled train station at its heart.

The South Bank is an area south of the River Aire where a number of investments and proposed activities are being targeted for extensive upgrades, making it one of Europe’s largest regeneration areas. It includes schemes such as Temple Works, the site of the former Tetley brewery, Leeds Dock, and Hunslet Mill, spanning around 253 hectares in total –making it an initiative of “a national scale and significance.”

While today marks a significant step forward for the scheme, several regeneration initiatives are already taking place in the area, such as the clustering of over 300 creative and digital businesses; transforming Leeds Dock into a technology hub with help from Sky and Allied London; the redevelopment of Granary Wharf; and a pair of brand-new campuses for two separate colleges.

Despite the scheme’s boundaries, the local authority hopes that benefits will extend “beyond any line drawn on a plan.”

The South Bank project aims to double the size and economic impact of Leeds city centre by delivering 35,000 new jobs and 8,000 homes. Work is already underway as part of the project, with almost 4,000 homes now either complete or currently being built in the area, with a further 3,000 in the planning process.

According to Leeds City Council, the site is also developing a “burgeoning reputation nationally as one of the fastest-growing areas of the country for digital and creative industries.”

Cllr Richard Lewis, the local authority’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “The shared vision for the South Bank is for it to be a place not only for people to live, learn, work, create and spend time but also for it to be a leading economic driver for Leeds and beyond and a place of global significance for business and investors.

“This supplementary planning document sets down key elements to be followed when making all major planning decisions for the area, so together with the station masterplan this step is an important one to help ensure the vision is realised for the benefit of everyone in Leeds and the wider region.”

These and other investment plans for the north will be discussed at PSE's upcoming event, EvoNorth, which takes place on 27-28 March next year at Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford. To find out more, visit the dedicated website.


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