New £22m railway station in Leeds is key to further investment, says developer

White Rose train station was granted planning permission earlier this year.White Rose train station was granted planning permission earlier this year.
White Rose train station was granted planning permission earlier this year.
A new railway station in Leeds will be the catalyst for hundreds of new homes, thousands of new jobs and further office space at an adjacent business park, according to the developer behind the project.

The two-platform station, which will be built near the White Rose Shopping Centre, gained planning permission in June.

David Aspin, of Munroe K, the owner of the adjacent White Rose Office Park, has been working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority on the plans, which could cost up to £22m, for the last three years.

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It is estimated that once the station is built, 340,000 trips will be made annually.

Arup is currently working on an economic masterplan with the developer and Leeds City Council to demonstrate the potential of the raiway station, which, according to Mr Aspin, is due to open in 2022. The benefits are expected to stretch across South Leeds and the wider city.

It’s the second time Mr Aspin has tried to build a railway station on the site. The previous plan, which he submitted about 15 years ago, failed he said due to the position of the proposed station and the curvature of the railway line.

The idea resurfaced three years ago at a council meeting and was made viable.

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Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, he said: “We foresee in the future that there will be another 700-800 homes and another 7,000 jobs created in this area as a direct result of this intervention. It won’t be overnight – we’re looking at the next 10-15 years.”

Over the next year, Mr Aspin intends to seek planning permission for a further 100,00 sq ft of office space at White Rose Office Park.

The business park covers 27 acres with 560,000 sq ft of office space let to tenants including Capita, HSBC and the NHS. The site also incorporates Elliot Hudson College, which was built in 2017.

Mr Aspin said his experiment to combine offices and education has paid off and is something he is keen to grow at the site.

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“Now that we’ve done it we’ve become big supporters of it,” he said. “We see it as an absolutely fundamental part of our future. It’s aspirational and the sense of wellbeing it creates for young people about the prospect of getting a job and going into work is very important.”

He added: “The school, and possibly more education coming to the White Rose park is a core asset for us and also for Leeds. When the opportunity arises within the educational framework, we’ll be endorsing it and supporting it to try to help put more children and more students on the site.”

There are also plans afoot to further develop on the 75 acres of land that sits between the White Rose Shopping Centre and the roundabout on Elland Road. Munroe K, Leeds City Council and Schroder own about 94 per cent of that land between them

“The opportunity to bring forward genuine economic intervention through land ownership is very strong,” Mr Aspin said.

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