MP Battles to Save Kirkstall Forge from Government Spending Axe
Kirkstall Forge, a proposed mixed-use development site located between Leeds and Shipley that has been in planning since 2003, is facing the axe in the wake of cuts being made by the Coalition Government.
Writing as a guest on the Guardian website, Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves is committed to keeping the plans alive, which she believes will be “good for the economy and good for the community”, bringing jobs, growth, and transport improvements to the West Leeds region.
If successful, the scheme – which has already achieved planning permission and support from local residents – will bring commercial space, new jobs, homes and investment to the local area.
Over 150,000 sq ft of new office space is set to be introduced, along with 1,000 new homes, shops, a hotel, bars and restaurants. The redevelopment of the former industrial site is also expected to provide over 3,000 new jobs.
A new railway station forms part of the plans, and is pivotal to the project. It will be based on the Leeds-Shipley line, and would be the first new rail station approved for Leeds in 20 years.
Despite winning the backing of planning chiefs and the promise of ┬ú4m funding from the developers, the future of the project remains unclear as the Government considers its final funding decision.
MP Rachel Reeves, who has set up a petition to prevent the development from falling under the Government’s public spending axe, said: “I want to make sure that Kirkstall Forge regeneration doesn’t fall foul of the cuts being made by the Coalition Government. I am determined to fight for this new station, because without it the plans simply don’t add up.
“As we await the government’s decision, I ask you to join our campaign, by writing to the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond to ask him to support the project, and by signing my petition for the station to be built, as promised, by 2012.”
To sign the petition, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘Kirkstall Forge petition’.