Friday, 19 September 2014

Green light for Enterprise Zone park and ride plans

Planning permission has been granted for the city’s second park and ride site to date.

The 1000-space car park and transport interchange hub will be located within the Leeds City Region Enterprise Zone and play an integral part in the zone’s development and investment.
The new facility at Temple Green Road will be easily accessed from the M1 Junction 45 via East Leeds Link and Bell Wood roundabout.

The plans, submitted jointly by Leeds City Council and Temple Green site developers Aire Valley Land (a partnership between Evans Property Group and Keyland Developments) include an area for bus drop-off and pick-up with associated passenger shelters, terminal building and cycle storage facilities.

Alongside the proposals for the park and ride, outline planning permission was agreed for a petrol filling station and a number of car dealerships.

The new park-and-ride facility will be delivered by Leeds City Council and operated in partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It is expected to be operational in 2016 and intends to provide a frequent bus service of every 15 minutes or better from the site to the city centre. The £8.5m scheme is one of the first to be funded the recently established West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Fund.

The city’s first large scale park and ride facility opened at Elland Road in June 2014. Developing park and ride in Leeds has been identified by the council as a key part of the wider transport strategy for reducing traffic congestion in Leeds and encouraging commuters to switch to more sustainable modes of travel.

Councillor Jim McKenna, chair of the city plans panel said:

“The development makes a number of positive contributions to the city including supporting sustainable development and forms an essential component of the council’s transport strategy to manage traffic and travel in the city.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for transport and the economy, said:

“This park and ride scheme is an integral part in the development of the Enterprise Zone unlocking a key site and acting as a catalyst for further development growth and job creation.

“We’re pleased that more people are choosing to use park and ride at Elland Road, and we’re encouraged by feedback we’re receiving. The average use on a weekday is now approaching 200 cars and we are expecting this to continue to increase. Receiving planning approval represents another step on the road to providing a network of park and ride sites across the city, easing congestion and cutting pollution in the city centre.”

Councillor James Lewis, chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“This park and ride would complement the 4,500-plus existing spaces at West Yorkshire’s rail stations and the 800-space facility at Elland Road.

“Park and ride is a key method of reducing congestion and improving people’s journeys and to relieve the very high levels of demand on current spaces, feasibility work to investigate developing further park and ride spaces at 18 local stations is being funded though the West Yorkshire plus Transport Fund.”

The new site will complement the £2.8m park-and-ride project near Leeds United’s Elland Road ground, a joint collaboration between the council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and bus firm First.

Ground remediation and access road construction is due to start in November this year, with construction work on the new 1,000 space park and ride facility is scheduled to begin in summer 2015.
Use of the land for park and ride forms a key part of the £8.57 million funding package agreed with central government to accelerate development of Temple Green and other sites within the enterprise zone.

The funding agreement paves the way for an immediate start on preparing development platforms, essential engineering work and road infrastructure and building the first of a series of industrial units to attract modern manufacturing companies into the enterprise zone.


Notes to editors

The 142 hectare enterprise zone was designated in 2012 in the lower Aire Valley, less than 3 km to the south east of Leeds city centre. It is a spatial priority within the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan as a prime investment opportunity, highlighting the zone’s significant potential to create employment, particularly in the manufacturing industries. The zone is a key component of the City Region’s inward investment offer to business investors from elsewhere in the UK and overseas. It is the primary source of accessible large sites, thereby offering the main opportunity for job creation in the region.

Leeds City Council has worked with developers to accelerate development in the zone by underwriting development and funding infrastructure work, and has now secured grant funding worth £8.57m from the Government's ‘Building Foundations for Growth’ programme that will pave the way for work to begin on site at Thornes Farm, Logic Leeds and Temple Green.

Temple Green, the largest of the development sites in the enterprise zone, has planning consent for over 2.2 million sq ft of development covering a range of uses including large scale manufacturing and distribution. Aire Valley Land, a partnership between Evans Property Group and Keyland Developments, has been established to develop the site.

The scheme would be subject to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s agreed three-stage Gateway Approval Process.

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk

Young volunteers awarded for their citizenship


Picture caption: Some of the youngsters who took part in the National Citizen Service scheme in Leeds over the summer.

Young people from across Leeds have been awarded for their part in a national citizenship scheme at a glitzy graduation ceremony.

Over 460 16 and 17 year olds attended the graduation ceremony at Elland Road where they received certificates for completing the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme from Councillor Judith Blake, the deputy leader of Leeds City Council. 189 of the young people graduated through Leeds City Council’s NCS team.

As part of this voluntarily attended scheme, the young people worked over the summer leading on delivering a variety of well-deserved local community projects, including organising a charity music gig that raised £500; holding a Funday in Morley that raised £460 for the Cash for Kids Charity and; rejuvenating a run-down area of Woodhouse by planting flowers, painting and clearing rubbish, with support from local residents & shops.

The 466 young people gave an average of 30 hours towards their social action projects. Their hard work amounted to around £90,000 worth of volunteering hours, given to communities and charities across Leeds, Bradford and North Yorkshire this summer.

Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for children’s services said:
“These young people are setting an excellent example to us all and demonstrating that hard work really does pay off. Communities across the city have benefited enormously from the commitment these young people have shown.

“It was great to have the opportunity to meet with the youngsters and hear about their projects and how successful they all were. Hearing them describe taking part in the scheme as a ‘life changing experience’ was fantastic.

“By taking part in this scheme the young people have taken on some big challenges, but have come away with new skills and experiences, which will undoubtedly help them in their future careers.”

The young people came together over four weeks and participated in fun activities, planning, and then delivered some fantastic social action projects, where they volunteered to improve their local community and benefit from their own personal development.

As part of the programme the young people challenged themselves in a huge variety of ways, for example, by meeting new people from different areas and making new friends; for some going away on their own for the first time; developing and improving communication skills; learning a variety of new practical and life skills; and building self-confidence.

The organisations involved in delivering the NCS programme in Leeds were; Leeds City Council, Leeds United, Youth Point at The Cardigan Centre, and Community Service Volunteers (CSV), including young people from Leeds, Bradford and North Yorkshire. Significant support was provided by ASDA and ‘Somewhereto–‘ a UK wide initiative which finds ‘space’ for young people to be active or creative.

The NCS is a Government funded Initiative for all 16 and 17 year olds across the UK that provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that helps young people build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends.


ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Comment on the result of the Scottish Referendum

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

"The Scottish Referendum has proved people feel passionately about, and want to get involved with, political debate when it directly involves them and their local communities. This result reinforces the widespread belief that further devolution must happen, giving local people much more say and control over spending and investment in their areas to promote growth, job creation, stronger communities and prosperity for all. For this to happen we need a true commitment to decentralisation and there needs to be a genuine timetable in place, with strong direction as to how this will happen.

"Leeds City Council and its partner neighbouring local authorities in the Leeds City Region will continue to call for significantly more devolution from Whitehall, not only for countries but for cities and city regions, in terms of greater decision-making powers and financial control including local tax retention. This is vital if we are to be able to take the local action we know we need to improve transport connections between different economic markets - to promote growth, create jobs and in turn rebalance the national economy to benefit the north.

"As we referred to in the Commission on the Future of Local Government document, there is no longer a one size fits all approach to be taken in the UK. Devolved powers to Scotland and Wales have already created very different environments for local government, and this needs to be built on across the whole country. Councils are becoming increasingly innovative and effective in the way they deliver services and are closer to the communities they serve, and therefore better placed to deliver locally.

"All of the main political parties agree that the national economy must be rebalanced, and we look forward to them delivering on those words as quickly as possible so the Leeds and wider northern economy can be allowed to grow and realise its immense potential for the benefit of millions of people and the country as a whole."

Notes to editors:

The report by the Commission on the Future of Local Government can be seen at http://civicenterpriseuk.wordpress.com/commission-final-report/

ENDS

Leeds City Council press office
Tel: 0113 395 0244

Enforcement action taken against West Register car parks

Illegal car parks in Leeds are being clamped down on as Leeds City Council takes action on firms who have failed to make the sites they use safe and secure.

Following a decision in March 2012, which saw the council approve 12 temporary long stay commuter car parks on cleared private land, firms running a number of car parks were given planning permission on the basis that a variety of improvements would be made such as landscaping, surfacing, clearly marked spaces, security lighting and signage.

Despite repeated written reminders from the council, West Register - who ran various car parks on Globe Road - failed to implement environmental improvements. Although given over 18 months to complete the environmental improvements, including the Planning Inspector giving six months’ notice (deadline of 20/7/2014) following an enforcement appeal, they still failed to do so.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel, said:

“It’s very disappointing that due to the failure of the organisations running these car parks to make sure they met reasonable obligation, they have to close. They’ve had plenty of time and reminders of what they need to do, yet still the work hasn’t been done.

They’ve been continuing to operate as a profitable business, so they have no excuse for not making sure that the car parks are safe and pleasant for motorists to use and don’t blight the area. These were key factors when the planning decision was taken. Unfortunately, we have reached the point where prosecution is the only remaining option.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member responsible for transport and the economy, said:

“It is important to remember that these car parks were only put in place as a temporary measure due to delays in developments at these sites as a result of the economic downturn.

“Although inconvenient for users, action had to be taken against these car parks otherwise it would be unfair on other car parking organisations that have complied with the rules and actually invested in their sites. It is also important that cark parks don’t just look like bomb sites if we’re serious about making our city attractive.

“There are plenty of alternative car parks for drivers including the city’s park & ride at Elland Road which has seen a steady increase in users since its opening which is expected to continue.”

Notes for editors:

More details about car parking available in the city is available at:

Media contact:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736