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Planning approval for first phase of residential development at Kirkstall Forge

Leeds City Council’s Plans Panel today resolved to grant planning permission for CEG’s Reserved Matters (detailed) application for the first phase of residential development at the £400 million Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds.

The proposals will provide 213 homes, including 77 houses offering three to five-bedroom family living, designed by Stirling Prize winners Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. The unique style of architecture is inspired by the local stone of the old forge building and Kirkstall Abbey and space and light are maximised with high ceilings and tall windows. They will offer open plan living opening out onto gardens and terraces across different floors, with many roof verandas providing fantastic views of the valley.

Just north of the river, two apartment buildings are also proposed, each set over nine floors with upper floors set back. Designed by leading residential architecture firm, Cartwright Pickard, they will provide 136 studios to three-bed apartments with 1,350 sq m of leisure and retail space on the ground floor. They will be set around amenity space, a new public plaza and pocket park, which can be used for events and activities.

Council officers had recommended approval be granted and stated that the development would ‘provide residential units of architectural merit and detail’. Work is expected to commence later this year.

CEG secured Reserved Matters (detailed) planning permission for 135 homes in 2019 and, as part of that permission, constructed two prototype homes. These will be thoroughly tested by the team once Covid-19 permits.

This new application leaves housing design unchanged, but by removing four of the homes this has enabled the two apartment buildings to be redesigned. Slightly taller, with upper floors set back to minimise the visual effect, more apartments are offered. These, and the green spaces and public plaza, will be effectively managed by the on-site Forge Life team.

James Shimwell, Head of Residential Development at CEG explains: “The redesigned apartments mean we can deliver tailored build for rent apartments, managed by the Forge Life on-site team, which will bring new residents onto site very quickly

“By including shops, leisure facilities and food and drink outlets on the ground floor, set around a public plaza and pocket park for pop up events, outdoor screenings and exercise classes, it will bring even more vitality to this exciting development.

“Through the consultation we’ve had some great feedback and look forward to progressing the next phase.”

Leeds based architect practice, Cartwright Pickard, designed the apartment buildings.

Peter Cartwright, Founding Director at Cartwright Pickard, said: “Using materials which complement the wider masterplan, we have sought to celebrate the industrial heritage of the Forge using high-quality materials that will weather well as part of a vibrant development”

A team of Yorkshire consultants supported the reserved matters application which also included Lichfields, Pierre Angulaire, Richard Boothroyd Associates, Curtins, Bryan G Hall and Hoare Lea.

Michael Hepburn, Senior Director at Lichfields, said: “It’s great to see another phase of this exciting development progress towards construction. It’s particularly pleasing to gain this support for the first phase of residential development at Kirkstall Forge as the vision for this mixed-use scheme takes shape.”

The 57-acre site is already home to the multi- award-winning Number One Kirkstall Forge offices, Butler’s deli restaurant, a new railway station and two prototype homes. The success of the first 110,000 sq ft commercial development has CEG fast progressing the detailed design and marketing of the next phase of 200,000 sq ft of workspace with ground floor amenities now that Reserved Matters (detailed) planning permission was granted towards the end of last year. The ground floor will include independent fitness space, grocery shopping and further independent food and drink outlets to complement the very popular Butlers deli restaurant.

Ultimately, Kirkstall Forge will provide up to 1,450 new homes, 300,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space. Located close to the train station, which provides access to the city centre in just six minutes, the scheme is set to create a thriving mixed-use community that has the River Aire running through its heart.

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