One million plus sqft of employment space in Leeds given the green light / July, 2022

Sterling Capitol, supported by Spawforths and The Harris Partnership, submitted a hybrid application to Leeds City Council in 2021 for a 95-acre site at Capitol Park Leeds, by Junction 28 of the M62.

Members of the council’s City Plans Panel voted to grant planning permission, subject to conditions and the signing of a legal agreement, last week (14 July 2022). A decision had previously been deferred at meetings in May and in November 2021 to seek additional information.

The site is currently arable land, along with a number of farm buildings, at Topcliffe Farm, with the majority previously undeveloped. The plans cover the demolition of the existing buildings on the site, earthworks to form development platforms, landscaping and access.

A total of 1.11 million sq ft of space would be created for storage and distribution use (B2 and B8), with ancillary offices, as well associated infrastructure.

It has been estimated that the development would support the creation of about 1,890 gross direct, indirect and induced jobs, as well as about 175 roles during construction. It could also generate about £75.5m GVA (gross value added) per annum.

Paul Beckett, head of development at Sterling Capitol, said: “We are delighted that this 100-acre development in south Leeds, which will be an extension of Sterling Capitol’s highly successful Capitol Park Leeds, by Junction 28 of the M62, has been approved by Leeds City Council’s Planning Committee.

“This new phase of development will create 2,000 new and sustainable green jobs. This Capitol Park site is a crucially important development for Morley, creating much-needed jobs and providing a timely boost to the local area’s economy building back from the pandemic. The success of Capitol Park Leeds, adjacent to this new site, has proved that the location, just by the M62 and close to Yorkshire’s excellent motorway network, is a winner.

The high-profile development, featuring high-specification, Carbon Net Zero logistics and advanced manufacturing units, will be partly speculatively developed in conjunction with developers PLP.

Paul Beckett added: “This approval is testament to the quality of the location and scheme presented to members of the plans panel, giving Sterling Capitol the platform to attract further inward investment for the city of Leeds. The development will appeal to a wide range of advanced manufacturers and large, blue-chip logistics and distribution companies. Buildings will be constructed both speculatively and on a design and build basis to suit specific occupiers’ needs.”

Following the November meeting, the applicant has provided more information on building heights, as well as mitigation measures regarding noise and light pollution.

The decision to grant planning permission was in-line with the recommendation of an officer’s report prepared for the meeting.