West Register wind down continues as RBS sells site to Lidl

ROYAL Bank of Scotland has sold the site of a former iron and electrical works in Yorkshire to discount retailer Lidl Stores.

An artist impression of Belgrave Retail Park

The 4.8 acre plot near Leeds was held in the state-owned lender’s property division West Register and was sold for an undisclosed sum.

The brownfield site has planning permission for nine retail units including a 21,000 sq ft food store and eight other retail units totalling 23,500 sq ft.

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RBS said the scheme will create 100 jobs and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Town Street area of Stanningley.

Robin Dixon, of RBS Real Estate Advisory, said: “We have worked hard to secure the retail planning permission which will now come forward as a Lidl store supported by additional retail operators; there is already strong demand for these units.

“We look forward to the stores opening in early 2017.”

RBS said the project includes a significant contribution to the public realm in the nearby area with City Connect, the Leeds-Bradford cycle super-highway, passing directly along the site frontage.

Graham Burr, head of property for Lidl, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured the site, which will be anchored by a new Lidl food store.

“Work will commence imminently to prepare the site including demolition of the remaining structures.

“Subject to planning consent to vary the scheme, work will commence February 2016 on the construction of the entire scheme, with opening expected in early 2017.”

Reesdenton, the Leeds-based chartered surveyors, acted for RBS on the transaction.

The land was home to the Albion ironworks in the 19th century and from the 1970s was the site of Belgrave electrical works.

Planning documents show that West Register (Realisations) bought the site as a sale and leaseback from then occupiers Winder Power and Dust Extraction Ltd in 2004.

The site initially attracted interest from residential developers but the onset of the recession killed off any hopes for new homes.

It remained “a vacant and derelict eyesore” until 2013 when Lidl said it would consider building a new store if it could be supported by a small neighbourhood retail scheme.

The German discounter has been a big winner in the supermarket wars and was named grocer of the year this summer.

Lidl and its rival Aldi have prompted broad changes to the way that supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons do business by forcing them to compete with lower prices.

A spokeswoman told The Yorkshire Post that Lidl aims to double the number of UK stores to 1,200 over the coming years.

Latest industry figures show that Lidl’s sales grew by 16 per cent to reach a new market share high of 4.2 per cent.

West Register is being wound down by RBS.