Leeds City Council has unanimously approved the first phase of 112 new family homes and 23,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and community space set around a vibrant public square at CEG’s £400 million Kirkstall Forge development.
Kirkstall Forge nestles within a wooded valley of the River Aire, with the river and canal flowing through the site, surrounded by extensive woodland. The masterplan focuses on the creation of a vibrant new community, taking inspiration from the site’s heritage, its woodland setting, ‘model villages’ such as Saltaire and the steep terraced streets found in many Yorkshire towns. Communal, pedestrian-friendly areas in front of the homes also benefit from contemporary Scandinavian ideas about co-housing to help to build a true sense of community amongst those who move into this pioneering new neighbourhood.
The spacious bankside homes offer a selection of gardens, terraces and roof spaces that maximise opportunities afforded by the sloping site to provide views of the woodland, waterside and across the valley. The riverside terraces create gently sloping pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined streets which offer seating and play opportunities to encourage neighbourliness and interaction. A central riverside boulevard connects the new bridge to the station, south-facing riverside event spaces and a proposed public square. Here, shops, cafés and restaurants will spill out onto the paved public realm and a large communal courtyard garden.
Developer CEG is leading development of the 57 acre Kirkstall Forge site. More than £40million has been invested in clearance, decontamination and infrastructure. Following the successful opening of the new railway station, which connects the site to Leeds’ in minutes, the first phase of commercial development completes in the next few weeks, delivering number One, a Grade A office building, which is almost 70% pre-let. Ultimately the site will become a thriving mixed-use community, comprising 1,050 new homes, 300,000 ft² of offices and 100,000 ft² of retail, leisure and community space.
Jon Kenny from CEG said: “Securing planning permission for our next phase is exciting and we look forward to delivering sustainable new ways of living alongside our flagship commercial development. With contemporary housing, restaurants, cafés, a school, leisure space and light-filled offices, connected to Leeds City Centre in just six minutes, Kirkstall Forge will provide the vibrancy of city life as well as the tranquillity of the outdoors.”
Architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios led the Kirkstall Forge masterplan and designed the station and first phase of residential development, within public realm and streetscape proposals by Planit-IE. WYG designed the infrastructure, bridge structures and river wall.