Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford Westfield objects to Leeds White Rose scheme

White Rose Centre Leeds
Image caption Planners in Leeds are considering an expansion of retail and cinema at the site

The company behind Bradford's much-delayed shopping centre has objected to plans to extend an existing mall in neighbouring Leeds.

The White Rose Centre in south Leeds wants to add a cinema, extend major shops and add catering units.

Westfield, whose undeveloped site is known as "the Bradford hole", said the Leeds scheme would have "a significant adverse impact" on its plans.

Planners in Leeds will consider the White Rose application later.

Local MP Ed Balls, in whose Morley and Outwood constituency the White Rose Centre sits, has backed the development.

Work started on Westfield's Bradford site in March 2004 but was halted in February 2008 leaving a building site in the city centre.

Local residents have since nicknamed the 12-acre building site the "Bradford hole".

Cinema plans

In May 2012 protest group Occupy Westfield pitched tents on the empty site to raise awareness about the lack of progress on the Bradford Westfield retail scheme.

The Westfield company said it would start work on the site in late 2013.

In the White Rose scheme submitted to Leeds City Council, Ravensleft Properties Ltd said they want to form new and enlarged retail units, alter vehicle access and carry out landscaping works.

Councillors will consider the recommendation from officers to approve the application in principle, but submit it to the Secretary of State as the scheme would be a departure from the city's agreed development plan.

The biggest development proposed would be the introduction of a 12-screen cinema with a combined capacity of 1,920 seats.

An additional block of food outlets would be added to the existing provision at the centre.

The application would also see the Debenhams store increased by 3,326 sq m over two levels.

Image caption The Westfield development site in Bradford stalled in 2008

The Primark store would be extended on three storeys, with two floors used for retail and the top floor for "back of house" provision.

Planners in Leeds are being asked to consider the scheme which would see 670 of the centre's existing 4,697 parking slots lost, but some additional staff parking at a nearby site is envisaged.

But among the objections being considered by Leeds planners is a letter on behalf of several developers and investors in Bradford city centre, among them the Westfield Bradford Ltd company.

Their objections say the proposed plan would have "impact on existing centres and on planned investment, including the [Westfield] Broadway scheme.

The letter also says "delivery of the Broadway scheme is at a critical stage and there is a serious risk of timely implementation".

Other objectors to the scheme include Morley Town Council, Leeds Civic Trust, John Lewis and the developers of the Victoria Gate scheme in the centre of Leeds.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites