A land of plenty in bid to revive Yorkshire Water’s old reservoirs

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YORKSHIRE’s redundant reservoirs could be used to stimulate economic growth by being transformed into workspace.

Instead of being left to decay, Keyland Development wants to work with partners to turn disused land belonging to Yorkshire Water into places to live and work.

According to Peter Garrett, Keyland’s managing director, the development of the disused land could reduce the pressure for development on other green spaces, at a time when many people are concerned about urban encroachment.

It’s hoped that a number of former Yorkshire Water sites will be used for commercial property development in the near future.

Yesterday, Keyland revealed that it had signed a partnership agreement with Conroy Brooks, which is based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, to deliver developments across Yorkshire.

Mr Garrett told the Yorkshire Post: “Keyland deals with Yorkshire Water’s redundant assets, bringing them back into productive use, in line with the Kelda Group’s strategic business objective to manage the environmental impact of the resources we use.

“Yorkshire Water owns about 78,000 acres of land, making it one of the largest landowners in the county.”

Keyland controls more than 1,000 acres of redundant land, which include sites suitable for small residential schemes and large industrial redevelopment sites.

It’s anticipated that there would be a strong demand from potential occupiers for new commercial sites in Yorkshire.

There has been a lack of new development in recent years, which could act as a constraint on economic growth.

Mr Garrett added: “Our biggest site is Templegate, which is 200 acres plus of land adjoining Junction 45 of the M1, of the new East Leeds Link Road, in the Leeds Enterprise Zone. The site has planning permission for more than two million sq ft of business park.

“In addition to Templegate, we are promoting industrial developments on ex-Yorkshire Water land in the Bradford and Kirklees local authority areas.”

Keyland, which is the property trading arm of Kelda Group and sister company to Yorkshire Water, has appointed Conroy Brook as its preferred partner under its Small Sites Initiative (SSI).

Keyland regularly works in partnership with other organisations to identify potential sites, promote them through local development frameworks, and then it obtains planning permission for commercial and residential schemes, depending on the location and the needs of the local economy.

Conroy Brook beat off competition from a number of rivals for the position of SSI partner.

The team’s first project has just been given the green light in Sheffield.

Planning permission has been granted by Sheffield City Council for the development of five homes on Carsick Hill Road in a conservation area in the suburb of Carsick, to the west of Sheffield.

The former service reservoir became redundant following Yorkshire Water’s investment in Sheffield’s water supply network. Keyland was given the job of regenerating the site. Work is scheduled to start in early summer.

Richard Conroy, the chief executive at Conroy Brook, said; “We are delighted to have been selected for this exciting role, and we are confident that this will be a solid partnership which will result in a legacy of notable developments across the region.”

Mr Garrett added: “We are looking forward to progressing with our first joint venture in Sheffield, and we are already looking at a number of opportunities to regenerate other redundant Yorkshire Water sites in line with the company’s business object- ives.”

Yorkshire Water’s estate covers the whole of Yorkshire, but it is mainly located on the eastern flanks of the Pennines and in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.

Much of the land is used to collect raw water, which is then treated for drinking.

The land is tenanted by farmers, as well as being used for recreational purposes by Yorkshire Water’s customers.

greg.wright@ypn.co.uk