Floods “won’t sink £300 million Leeds Kirkstall Forge scheme”

An artist's impression of how part of the Kirkstall Forge site will look
An artist's impression of how part of the Kirkstall Forge site will look
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A LANDMARK development at one of Leeds’s most important regeneration sites will go ahead as planned in spite of widespread flooding in the surrounding area.

The £300m scheme promises to deliver 1,050 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space at Kirkstall Forge.

It is being marketed as the most ambitious project in the North of England.

There were fears that the scheme might be affected by the recent flooding, but the developer and local authority have reassured that the project will be unaffected.

Jon Kenny, director of developer CEG, said; “There has been some flooding on the areas of the site where we expect it and our scheme has been designed to account for this, in full accordance with Environment Agency requirements; this does not therefore affect the development of the wider site.

“The new station and areas of the site prepared for development were unaffected by the flooding.”

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: “Kirkstall Forge has planning approval with flood alleviation measures already agreed as part of the consent. Those measures, once in place, will mitigate against the impact of a flood event such as the one experienced last weekend.

“We will continue to work proactively with CEG on this important scheme for Leeds.”

CEG won planning permission for the first phase of the site in September and has carried out demolition and remediation of the forge, which is one of the oldest industrialised sites in the UK.

Work on the first phase is set to begin next month.

The scheme is expected to create more than 2,400 new jobs and will allow almost 10,000 people to live and work on the site by 2020.

In the meantime, the wider clean-up work continues.

Mr Kenny added: “Our thoughts are with the residents and businesses which have been impacted by the flooding and we are keen to assist in the clean-up process.

“From Monday, we will have a workforce and machinery mobilised to provide their hands-on support in whichever areas of the city it is most needed.”