Major East Leeds development consultation reaches next stage

Leeds, Leeds Star

Hundreds of east Leeds residents have had their say on plans for one of the city’s largest growth areas following a major public consultation exercise according to a report to be published by Leeds City Council.

The East Leeds Extension (ELE) will see a large area of undeveloped land brought forward for the development of around 5,000 new homes, community facilities, new schools, local retail outlets, as well as new and improved roads designed to move and manage traffic away from existing residential areas.

Following extensive consultation which saw local residents, businesses and others have their say on proposed plans for the new East Leeds Orbital Road (ELOR) there are updated designs incorporating further details on landscaping, drainage and crossings to the countryside between the north and east.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport, and planning, said:

“These infrastructure improvements will be integral to the growth of east Leeds. By working closely with landowners, developers, residents and public organisations, such as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, government departments and other agencies we now have a report reflecting a wide range of opinion and expertise. I am keen that people examine and consider the updated proposals as we move into the next stage of planning for this major development area.”

“The ELE will play a crucial role meeting one of the challenges the city faces to provide enough homes to meet the city’s growing population, while also providing the right schools, services and infrastructure to support the new development.

“By working with local residents and businesses we can make sure our plans are understood, respond to local concerns as far as possible and that any issues are overcome as we hear what is most important for people.”

The initial consultation drew responses from local residents, people working in the area, businesses, community based groups and non-regulatory organisations. Seven drop in events held across six venues in the area were attended by over 300 people. Around 20,000 leaflets were distributed to homes and businesses in the areas local to the events. Consultation materials and an online survey were shared on the internet and the ELE website received over 2,500 unique visits. Over 250 written responses were received in total.

The 250 hectare area, extending around the edge of Swarcliffe, Whinmoor and Crossgates, is the single largest opportunity in the city to deliver new high quality residential neighbourhoods and will play a major role in delivering the housing required to meet the local development framework core strategy for 70,000 new homes across the city by 2028. Located next to the Thorpe Park business development, the ELE is a major part of wider economic regeneration plans for the city, with the ELOR providing the highways capacity to support new development, connecting the outer ring-road at Red Hall to junction 46 of the M1 at Thorpe Park.

The proposed dual carriageway ELOR, could eventually see 35,000 vehicles per day passing over its 4.6 mile length, improving traffic around East Leeds and significantly upgrading transport infrastructure for that part of the city. New strategic cycle and pedestrian leisure routes will be included as part of the scheme, which will be sensitively landscaped with a sustainable drainage scheme to reflect its location at the urban fringe.

As plans and proposals for the ELE progress, further public engagement will be undertaken, with the next stage including consultation by the council on a detailed planning application for ELOR later in the summer. Anyone wishing to know more can find further details at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/The-East-Leeds-Orbital-Road.aspx and can also contact local ward councillors directly with any queries about ELE or to raise any concerns.

Notes for editors

More details are available online at: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/The-East-Leeds-Orbital-Road.aspx

Images of proposed indicative plan: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/East%20leeds%20extension%20indicative%20plan.pdf

http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Artists%20images%20ele.pdf

Thorpe Park is one of the north of England’s premier business destinations and plays an important role in creating employment opportunities. Owner and developer of Thorpe Park, Scarborough Development Group, is bringing forward plans for the future phases of the development, the first phase of which will enable delivery of the section of the East Leeds Orbital Road connecting junction 46 of the M1 to Cross Gates via Manston Lane.