500 homes planned for army tank factory site

PLANS to demolish the buildings which once housed a defence factory that built British army tanks, and replace it with almost 500 homes, will come before planning chiefs today.

The Vickers tank factory at Barnbow in east Leeds closed in 1999 and the buildings were later used for storage by Marks & Spencer and other companies.

The wider Barnbow site has an almost century-long association with defence and munitions manufacturing, as it was also home to the famous Barnbow Munitions Factory.

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The proposals for the Vickers site, which will be unveiled to a Leeds planning panel today, incorporate the demolition of the existing buildings on the site, site remediation including the extraction of coal, and a residential development of 100 houses and 385 other dwellings.

The committee will today hear a pre-application presentation, and a full planning application is expected in March.

Developer Bellway Homes is hoping to get planning permission for 100 houses, and outline consent for a further 385 dwellings.

A report to be presented to the committee explains that the commercial buildings which remain on the site are to be demolished, with just the sports club and its pavilion and pitches being retained.

The buildings to be bulldozed are single-storey industrial buildings.

The report says: “The site is currently occupied by a large industrial unit and several smaller properties.

“All of the units were associated with the Vickers Tank Factory.

“The site is currently vacant although it benefits from storage and distribution use granted permission in 2002.

“The site is a brownfield site in a sustainable location and is no longer needed for the previous employment use, therefore the principle of residential development is acceptable.”