Plans for major extension to Langthwaite Business Park set to be approved setting up new jobs

Plans to extend one of Wakefield district’s largest industrial estates look set to be given the go ahead.

Langthwaite Business Park, in South Kirkby, could have a further 27,000 sq m of warehouses and buildings added to the site to attract jobs and major investment.

Councillors have been asked to approve the development on greenbelt land next to Broad Lane.

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Proposals include building access roads and preparing the area for up to nine new buildings.

Plans to extend Langthwaite Grange Business on greenbelt land off Broad Lane, South Kirkby, have been recommended for approval.Plans to extend Langthwaite Grange Business on greenbelt land off Broad Lane, South Kirkby, have been recommended for approval.
Plans to extend Langthwaite Grange Business on greenbelt land off Broad Lane, South Kirkby, have been recommended for approval.

A beck which runs close to the site would need to be diverted in order for the work to go ahead.

The application has been submitted by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

The site is in a designated enterprise zone area which benefits from tax breaks and government support.

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WYCA says the land has been identified as a “key site within the district” with “significant potential for growth in jobs”

In June last year, it was revealed that the extension could become home to a £51m centre of excellence for the creative industries.

A WYCA regeneration committee was told the extension would need to be completed by October 2024 for the authority to receive the funding for the centre.

Langthwaite is already home to over 100 businesses.

It is the base for Production Park, a world leader in providing rehearsal and filming space for some of the world’s biggest stars including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Arctic Monkeys and the Rolling Stones.

Five objections to the scheme have been made by residents.

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Objections relate to the loss of prime agricultural land and the impact the development will have on two Grade II listed 18th century farm buildings which overlook the site.

It is also claimed the new buildings will create light and noise pollution for people living on a new residential development being built nearby.

Calls have also been made for a full archaeological survey to be completed before work is carried out.

Documents say Roman coins have been found on the land by metal detectorists and there is also evidence of Bronze Age settlements.

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West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service has confirmed that the site is of archaeological interest.

Up to £288,000 would have to be paid in a Section 106 legal agreement to replace lost wildlife habitats if the scheme is passed.

A report says conditions could be attached to address the issues when full planning applications for the construction work are submitted at a later date.

A document adds: “The applicant has submitted sufficient evidence to be confident that 27,000 sq m of industrial and/ or warehouse buildings can be provided on the site in an environmentally acceptable manner which address all relevant issues highlighted.”

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The business park was originally called Langthwaite Grange Industrial Estate when it was established after the Second World War.

It was opened in April 1949 by former prime minister Harold Wilson, then president of the board of trade.

Langthwaite changed its name from industrial estate to business park in 2008 after securing £1.2m to regenerate the site.

It was one of the first business parks in Yorkshire to attain Business Improvement District (BID) status.

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Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee will consider the application at a meeting on March 14.

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