The plans, which also include extensions to the existing Primark and Debenhams stores, new restaurants and a new car park for employees, are expected to create around 1,000 new jobs and 195 construction jobs.
The blueprint, just approved by the City Plans Panel, includes an employment plan which focuses on recruiting staff from nearby areas of high unemployment such as Middleton, Belle Isle, Beeston and Holbeck. Bus services to these areas are also expected to be improved to cope with the increased demand.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said: “I welcome this scheme taking shape and the significant benefits it will bring, particularly much-needed job opportunities in construction and retail and improved transport links. This is good news for the whole city but particularly for residents in the south Leeds area.”
Members of the panel approved the expansion of the site, subject to negotiations with the developer about traffic improvements contributions. The plans will be referred to the Secretary of State for final approval.
A report presented to the plans panel said letters of support has indicated that the new cinema was a “much-needed facility and this and additional restaurants are welcomed, as others in Leeds are difficult to access from this area”. The additional retail capacity will also allow the White Rose Centre to remain “vibrant” added the report, and will allow Morley town centre to “piggyback” off its success.