Masterplan, showing proposed 'innovation park'

Masterplan, showing proposed ‘innovation park’

In addition to a discussion on housing site allocation,  Friday’s (26th June) Development Plan Panel, will also discuss the future development of Leeds Bradford Airport; specifically the addition of a 36 hectar green belt site for  employment use.

The following paper from the Leeds Chief Planning Officer has just been added to the Leeds DPP website.  It contains details of

1. A report on an ‘innovation park’ at the airport for digital, science, and technology companies

2. A presentation on the airport’s emerging masterplan

3. Details of an airport surface access strategy – including a road and rail link

In addition, there are details from a report Leeds Council have commissioned from BE Group, which provides the evidence that local people have been reporting back to Leeds for a number of years – that Aireborough is deficient in employment land.   The report, published yesterday (23rd June 2015) says that

the area has a need for quality modern business premises that are not sufficiently available locally.  The local workforce being highly qualified and skilled is regarded as an asset for business and a need of around 14 ha of General Employment land is identified over and above the land proposed in the Site Allocations Plan. “
Back in 2013,  the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum responded to the Site Allocation Consultation with a paper that said
“Following ANF research with over 700 local people and businesses from across the area, we find the site allocations issues and options report does not support the ambitions, opportunities and issues in Aireborough regarding economic growth and innovation ………………………….Aireborough, with its specific skills,character, and opportunities, should be identified as an area for jobs and business growth.”    The submission is here.
The Airport and Council are making the case that this additional employment land could be found at the Airport.  The concern is that there would not be take up by relevant companies, and once in the site allocation plan the land would be used for car parks or other non-employment use.
Amongst the transport proposals is a medium term link road from the A65 at Rawdon to the A658 North of the Airport, and a long-term rail link which is currently the subject of a feasability study.  The link road would go through the innovation park.